Using a moisturizer can prevent dry skin and make living with psoriasis a little easier.

Imagine having an unwanted guest show up on your doorstep. No one knows who invited him, and no one really wants him there. He's one of the most annoying people you've ever met. And his personality is so abrasive, you're embarrassed to take him anywhere.

If you have psoriasis or know anyone with this frustrating skin condition, you know that it's much like that uninvited guest. It shows up in the form of dry, inflamed, red, scaly patches of skin. Not only are psoriasis flare-ups aggravating, they make people with the condition so self-conscious about their appearance that they're reluctant to go to the grocery store without ample covering. Probably most frustrating of all is that there's no magic formula to kick this guest out of town indefinitely. You have to learn how to deal with flare-ups as they come, and take good care of yourself and your skin.

With psoriasis, that means taking precautions to prevent outbreaks, such as using heavy moisturizers and leading an overall healthy lifestyle, and, if psoriasis does cause your skin to breakout into dry, red patches, treating it quickly. In this article, we'll discuss 28 home remedies -- some consisting of simple ingredients found in your kitchen -- to help treat psoriasis discomfort, and simple everyday changes you can make to help prevent outbreaks. Let's start by discussing what psoriasis does to skin.

The Psoriasis Puzzle

Normally, your skin cells go through a month-long life cycle. New cells are formed deep within the skin, and over a period of about 28 to 30 days they make their way to the top of the skin. By that time your old skin cells die and are sloughed off by everyday routines such as showering and toweling off.

The skin of a person with psoriasis, however, goes into fast-forward. The entire skin cell process happens in three or four days, causing a buildup of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. Thankfully, this quickening of skin cells usually happens in patches, mostly on the scalp, lower back, elbows, knees, and knuckles. The technical term for these dry, irritating, scaly patches is plaques.

No one really knows what psoriasis is -- an allergy? An infection? And even with all the advanced medical knowledge in the world today, the causes of the condition remain a mystery. In about 32 percent of psoriasis cases, there's a family history of the condition, which means there is a significant genetic link. Doctors do know that there are specific lifestyle factors that can trigger psoriasis or make symptoms worse. Drinking alcohol, being overweight, stress, a lingering case of strep throat, anxiety, some medicines, and sunburn all tend to make psoriasis even more unbearable.

Psoriasis isn't contagious, though it looks like it might be. Some people end up with mild cases of the condition that produce small patches of red scales. Others are plagued by psoriasis -- it covers large areas of their body with thick scales. Some people even get psoriasis in their nails, which causes the nails to become pitted and malformed and even to break away from the skin. And in some rare cases, a type of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis develops.

Though there is no way to get rid of psoriasis, you can help avoid it, help your body recover more quickly and ease your symptoms with some simple home remedies, which we'll discuss in the next section.

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This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.