Psoriasis is a medical condition that results in chronically flaking or red patches of skin. It comes about due to skin cells growing too quickly and can be an embarrassing condition to live with. Normal skin cells grow at around every four weeks and flake off, but with psoriasis, the new cells appear too quickly at the skin’s surface at a rate of days instead of weeks. This causes a buildup of thick skin patches referred to ask plaques. If you have psoriasis, you can better control your medical condition by keeping track of flare ups.

Tracking flare ups of your psoriasis can help you to alleviate your symptoms, which can benefit you in a variety of ways. Keep a close watch on your skin to see whether there have been specific changes in your psoriasis. There may be some things you cannot control, such as the weather. Other things to look out for include whether you have run out of medication for your condition or if you suffered an injury that might have affected your psoriasis.

Generally speaking, while there are not absolute triggers for psoriasis, many people believe certain aspects have an affect on their condition. These things include winter weather, smoking, stress, certain medications, alcohol, shaving, caffeine and even fatty meats. If any of these affects your everyday life in any way, keep them in mind and closely examine your skin for flare ups. The best way to keep track of them is to keep a journal of your psoriasis symptoms and to record your daily habits, the weather and whether you have been stressed in any way. Certain infections may also result in flare ups. This can include anything from strep throat to HIV.

In addition, damage to the skin can lead to psoriasis flare ups. If something has occurred that results in damage to your skin, from something as minor as a small cut or burning yourself, take note of it. Keep in mind that you can better protect your skin by applying lotion, avoiding scratching when itchy, wearing protective clothing and even foregoing shaving every other day.

Stress on the skin that involves things such as tattooing and piercings can even trigger psoriasis flare ups. Closely examine your skin in areas where you have a tattoo or piercing. The condition is specifically referred to as Koebner’s phenomenon.

It is important to speak with a doctor about your psoriasis flare ups. Bring your personal journal to your doctor’s appointment and discuss your findings with him or her. You will may get additional helpful advice on how to prevent your flare ups and might be put on new medications that can ease your symptoms.