Psoriasis is a common condition that causes the cells of the skin to grow rapidly, which causes scaly red patches that can be itchy and may sometimes be painful. Consulting a doctor for treatment is essential. But if you're suffering from psoriasis, there are many things you can do at home to help prevent flare-ups. Use the following tips to help control the symptoms of your psoriasis:

Keep Skin Moisturized

Dry skin can be a trigger for a lot of people with psoriasis, so make sure that you are diligent about moisturizing your skin, especially the areas where psoriasis is already present. Choose a lotion or moisturizer that is thick and has a high oil content, as these types can help lock in moisture. It is a good idea to apply moisturizer as soon as you get out of the shower.

Use a Humidifier

In addition to regularly using lotion, you will also want to keep the air in your home moist as well. Consider purchasing a few humidifiers to keep around the house. This is especially important in the cold winter months when air tends to be quite dry.

Don't Pick at Your Skin

While psoriasis can be a nuisance, try your best to avoid picking at the patches or scratching the area too much. Doing so can just cause additional problems and possibly make your psoriasis worse than it already is.

Avoid Damage to the Skin

When you have psoriasis, you will want to try to prevent cuts, scrapes, and any other trauma to the skin. Trauma to the skin, along with skin infections, may cause a psoriasis flare-up. So, be careful when shaving, say no to acupuncture and tattoos, and attempt to prevent bug bites.

Spend Some Time in the Sun

The ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause skin cell growth to slow down, which can be very helpful if you have psoriasis. Make it a point to spend a moderate amount of time in the sun each day, when possible. But make sure that you still apply sunscreen-- a sunburn may cause a bad flare-up of your psoriasis.

Consider Making Changes to Your Diet

Some people report having great results in preventing psoriasis flare-up by making changes to their diet. Some things, like removing dairy and gluten from your diet, may help the condition and lead to an improvement of your symptoms. In addition to making dietary changes, think about limiting your alcohol intake-- some people think that alcohol may worsen psoriasis symptoms. Contact a professional like Henry D. McKinney M.D. to learn more.