Community Views: A Psoriatic Flare Care Kit
Painful and frustrating, a psoriatic flare is never a welcome experience. The good news is that over time most living with psoriatic arthritis have learned what brings the most help and comfort during a flare.
Let's talk flare care
To find out what works best for the members on the Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Facebook page, we reached out and asked, “If you could put 3 things in a flare care kit, what would they be?”
We saw answers from 65 people in the community. Here is what they said.
Heat and ice packs and heating pads
The top things that people want in their emergency psoriatic flare kits are ice packs and heating pads. The suggestion is that if your joints are feeling swollen, then cold is better. But if the pain you are feeling seems muscle related, then heat may be better. You can try both to see what works best for you.
“Rice heating pad.”
Taking a bath with Epsom salts is a great way to reduce inflammation. It also can help soothe itchy skin. Even better, hot bath water helps reduce muscle pain.
“Epsom salts for baths.”
Cooling and heating gels
A handful of people in the community find relief from topical creams that make the skin feel hot or cold. These can limit how much pain someone can feel from the affected areas. Not feeling that pain can provide a lot of comforts. A couple of community members shared that CBD creams are another good choice that can help numb an affected area.
There really is not a ton of science behind the enjoyment of chocolate, other than it can boost mood. Dark chocolate contains the feel-good drug serotonin, so it makes sense that many people feel happier after eating it. Plus, it is delicious and considered comfort food.
“Party-size bag of Hershey's Kisses.”
So, so many people said that a blanket is a must-have item – but they had many different ideas when it came to which kind of blanket is best.
An electric blanket is a 2-for-1 that adds heat and comfort. A weighted blanket helps with anxiety by stimulating what is known as deep-pressure touch. Deep-pressure touch feels a lot like the firm and comforting pressure of human touch.
Stress is a huge trigger that can cause a psoriatic flare as well as make an existing flare worse. It makes sense that any tools you can use to feel calm and comforted are great choices.
“A warm, soft blanket.”
“Super soft blankets.”
Many people find that compression clothing, including gloves, sleeves, and socks, helps prevent flare-ups. Some use these clothes during a flare-up as well. This type of clothing gently squeezes and helps with stiffness, swelling, and pain.
Rest and relaxation
Once a flare has begun, many people find the best cure is to stop as much work, movement, and activity as possible. With blankets and pillows, they get cozy on the couch or bed and watch movies or TV. It is best for those who can take paid time off to do so. To the extent that you can, try not to worry about missing work. Instead, settle in and just to let the body repair itself.
“A favorite film.”
“Time to sleep.”
“Paid time off.”
Thank you to everyone who shared their stories. We appreciate the many who shared their helpful suggestions!
Do you regularly track your psoriatic arthritis symptoms?