How Im Managing My Psoriasis in The Shadow of The Coronavirus

The coronavirus-2019' target='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer' >shelter-in-place order for Yolo County, in Northern California where I live, to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus came as a surprise. The next day, the governor of California ordered all residents to stay at home.

That order marked the moment when I began to feel overwhelmed with anxiety, knowing that I am at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 due to asthma. Infections also tend to flare my psoriasis and eczema — another reason to worry.

Communicate with Healthcare Providers

My local dermatology clinic shares a building with an urgent care center. Taking every precaution, I canceled my appointment with my dermatologist, Dr. Carroll, just before the lockdown to avoid possible exposure to anyone sick. Even though I did not see my doctor in person, we messaged that day about my skin conditions and medications.

Online medical support, including telemedicine, is one way to stay closely connected with healthcare providers when you cannot go to the clinic. I felt better knowing if I need anything from my healthcare team, they are accessible by phone or online.

Manage Stress and Anxiety

I don’t like to admit it when I become stressed or anxious. The initial days of the coronavirus pandemic, though, left me feeling uneasy. The more news I watched, the more I felt insecure and worried about what would happen next.

A national poll by the American Psychiatric Association found that almost 40 percent of Americans are anxious about dying or becoming seriously ill from the novel coronavirus, and 62 percent are anxious about family and loved ones getting COVID-19.

Maintain Skin-Care Routines

I don’t feel like doing much, including taking care of my skin, when anxious or worried. But keeping up my skin-care routine is exactly what I need in a time of crisis. Caring for my skin reduces the chance of worsening my psoriasis while allowing me to proactively address any skin concerns that could lead to more stress.

My routine also keeps me on a regular schedule in the absence of work. In the morning, I apply a medium-strength prescription ointment to psoriasis lesions along with moisturizers on my body. In the evening, I use a phototherapy home unit (three times a week), shower, then apply ointment and moisturizers again.

Sticking to your normal skin-care routine can provide structure and normalcy to your day while maintaining your skin health.

I hope the stay-at-home orders and other measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus will end soon, with as few people affected as possible. In the meantime, managing a chronic illness like psoriasis takes flexibility and persistence.

Be safe and healthy, and feel free to let me know ways you are managing your psoriasis in these unprecedented times.

You can read more about my experiences in my blog for ishonest and on my website.

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