Living with lip psoriasis can be challenging and can affect your daily life, including your social interactions and self-confidence. Coping with this condition requires a comprehensive approach that includes self-care, lifestyle changes, and medical treatment. With the right information and strategies, you can manage your symptoms effectively and improve your quality of life. Managing lip psoriasis is not only important for the health of your lips, but also for your total health and fitness, as this condition can have a significant impact on your physical and emotional well-being. In this blog, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on coping with lip psoriasis. We will cover everything you need to know about this condition, including its causes, symptoms, and treatment options. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you can successfully manage your lip psoriasis and enjoy a better quality of life.
What is Lip Psoriasis?
Lip psoriasis is a subtype of psoriasis that affects the lips. It causes dryness, flaking, and cracking of the lips, which can be painful and uncomfortable. Lip psoriasis can occur on the upper lip, lower lip, or both, and can also affect the skin around the lips.
Symptoms of Lip Psoriasis
The symptoms of lip psoriasis can vary from person to person, but some common symptoms include:
- Dryness and flaking of the lips
- Cracking of the lips, which can be painful
- Redness and inflammation of the lips
- Swelling of the lips
- Itching or burning sensation on the lips
In severe cases, lip psoriasis can also cause bleeding, and may even affect the ability to eat, drink or speak.
Causes of Lip Psoriasis
The exact cause of lip psoriasis is unknown, but it is believed to be related to an overactive immune system. In people with psoriasis, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, causing them to grow rapidly and form psoriasis plaques. Certain triggers can also exacerbate the condition, including stress, infections, injuries to the skin, and exposure to cold weather.
Read more, How to Get Rid of Blackheads on Lips?
Risk Factors for Lip Psoriasis
Some factors that increase the risk of developing lip psoriasis include:
- Family history of psoriasis
- Having other autoimmune diseases
- Alcohol consumption
Diagnosis of Lip Psoriasis
Diagnosing lip psoriasis involves a physical examination of the lips and skin around the mouth. In some cases, a biopsy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis. It is important to see a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
There is no cure for lip psoriasis, but there are several treatment options available to manage the symptoms. The treatment plan will depend on the severity of the condition and may involve one or more of the following:
Topical treatments are creams, ointments, and gels that are applied directly to the affected area. Some common topical treatments for lip psoriasis include:
- Corticosteroids: These reduce inflammation and itching, and can help to heal cracked skin. They are available in various strengths and can be applied once or twice a day.
- Vitamin D analogues: These can help to slow down the growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation. They are available in cream or ointment form.
- Retinoids: These are derived from vitamin A and can help to normalize skin cell production. They are available in cream or gel form.
- Salicylic acid: This can help to remove scales and promote the absorption of other topical treatments. It is available in ointment or shampoo form.
Phototherapy involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light under medical supervision. This can help to slow down the growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation. Phototherapy can be done using a special lamp or in a doctor’s office.
Systemic medications are taken orally or by injection and work throughout the body to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system. Some common systemic medications used for psoriasis include methotrexate, cyclosporine, and acitretin.
Biologic medications are a newer type of systemic medication that target specific parts of the immune system that are involved in psoriasis. They are usually given by injection or infusion and include drugs like adalimumab, etanercept, and ustekinumab.
It is important to work with a dermatologist to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your individual needs.
Lifestyle Changes to Manage Lip Psoriasis
In addition to medical treatment, there are several lifestyle changes that can help manage lip psoriasis. Here are some suggestions:
Keep Lips Moisturized
Dryness can worsen the symptoms of lip psoriasis, so it is important to keep your lips moisturized. Use a gentle, fragrance-free lip balm or ointment that does not contain any irritating ingredients.
Certain triggers can cause psoriasis flare-ups, so it is important to identify and avoid them if possible. Common triggers include stress, smoking, alcohol, and cold weather.
Sunburn can trigger psoriasis flare-ups, so it is important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 when you are outside.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
If psoriasis affects the lips or areas around the mouth, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene to prevent infections. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly.
Stress can trigger psoriasis flare-ups, so it is important to find ways to manage stress. This may include exercise, yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can help reduce inflammation and support overall health. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
Smoking can trigger psoriasis flare-ups and make the symptoms worse. If you smoke, consider quitting or reducing your tobacco use.
Living with psoriasis can be challenging, so it is important to seek support from friends, family, or a support group. Talking to a mental health professional can also be helpful.
Making these lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of lip psoriasis and improve overall quality of life.
When to See a Doctor for Lip Psoriasis
If you have symptoms of lip psoriasis, it is important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Here are some signs that it is time to make an appointment with a dermatologist:
Symptoms that do not improve with over-the-counter treatments
If you have tried using over-the-counter creams and ointments to manage your lip psoriasis and have not seen any improvement, it is time to see a dermatologist.
If you have severe symptoms such as bleeding, cracking, or pain, it is important to see a dermatologist as soon as possible.
Other health conditions
Psoriasis is associated with other health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and depression. If you have psoriasis and another health condition, it is important to see a dermatologist to manage your psoriasis and reduce your risk of complications.
Living with psoriasis can be emotionally challenging. If you are experiencing emotional distress or have symptoms of anxiety or depression, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.
Overall, if you have any concerns about your symptoms, it is important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Lip psoriasis can be a challenging condition to manage, but there are many effective treatment options available. It is important to maintain good self-care habits such as keeping the lips moisturized and avoiding triggers that may worsen symptoms. Lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet and stress management can also help improve symptoms. If over-the-counter treatments are not effective or if you have severe symptoms, joint pain, or other health conditions, it is important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. With the right care and management, it is possible to live well with lip psoriasis.