Most people think of psoriasis as a skin condition but it affects a lot more than your skin. It is a chronic condition that may take a toll on your mood, your self-confidence, and even the relationships with your beloved ones.

Studies have found that people with psoriasis have higher chances for depression and anxiety and it interferes with their daily life. But following certain treatment options and making small changes to your daily habits can help you stay happy and healthy. Here are some tips on how to take good care of yourself mentally to take control of psoriasis.

Make stress relief a daily practice

Psoriasis patches may feel itchy, tight and painful, making you feel stressed often even if you’ve been living with it for years. This, in turn, triggers psoriasis flares and pain. That’s why it is crucial to make stress relief a part of your daily routine. Exercising, deep breathing, meditation, or time spent on something you like can boost your mood, reducing stress and lowering inflammation.

Fight ignorance

People who are not aware of the condition worry that it’s contagious or a symptom of another health problem, giving second glances and unkind remarks about your skin. At such times, have a fact-based statement ready, fighting their ignorance with facts.

Lean on your loved ones

Let your friends and family members know how psoriasis affects you emotionally. They may not understand your emotions until you open up to them. Sharing your feelings with the ones you love and earning their support makes you feel better day to day and are less likely to have depression.

Take control of your treatment

You don’t need to learn to live with psoriasis. There are better treatment options available and it is possible to reach a point where your skin is clear. Don’t stop at medication, though. Follow a healthy diet, lose weight if you’re overweight, and stay fit and active. These steps help you feel healthy and take control of the condition.