Psoriasis and Art Therapy: How Creativity Aids Symptom Management


Art therapy, a creative form of therapy that uses activities like drawing, painting, and sculpture to promote emotional healing and improve mental health.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - art is therapy word abstract in vintage letterpress wood type printing blocks.

For those living with psoriasis, incorporating art therapy into their daily routine may provide an opportunity for self-expression and stress relief, ultimately helping to manage symptoms.

As you explore this alternative approach, keep in mind that art therapy is not a substitute for your medical treatments, but rather a complementary tool to help you navigate the challenges of living with psoriasis.

By incorporating creativity into your self-care practices, you may find a way to alleviate some of the stress and emotional impact that this skin condition brings.


Key Takeaways


  • Understanding Art Therapy: The article delves into the concept of art therapy, which involves using creative expression as a therapeutic tool for individuals with psoriasis. Art therapy aims to aid in symptom management and improve mental health in patients dealing with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.


  • Benefits of Creative Expression: The article highlights the various benefits of creative expression for individuals with psoriasis. Engaging in art therapy can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, while promoting self-awareness and emotional healing.


  • Evidence-Based Support: The article emphasizes that art therapy is backed by evidence as an effective complementary approach to conventional treatments for psoriasis. Studies have shown positive outcomes in reducing psoriasis symptoms and enhancing overall well-being.


  • Art Therapy Techniques: The article discusses different art therapy techniques and practical ways to incorporate them into psoriasis management. From painting and drawing to sculpting and collage-making, each technique offers unique benefits.


  • Home-Based Art Therapy: The article suggests alternative ways to incorporate art therapy sessions at home, making it accessible and convenient for individuals with psoriasis. Engaging in creative activities outside formal therapy sessions can complement the healing process.


Art Therapy for Psoriasis - art therapy for senior ladies, group of women painting in watercolor the picture of a lighthouse.


Table of Contents



Key Takeaways

Table of Contents

Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis

Understanding Art Therapy

Creative Expression and Psoriasis Management

Art Therapy for Mental Health in Psoriasis Patients

Evidence-Based Benefits of Art Therapy for Psoriasis

Additional Applications and Related Therapies

Art Therapy Techniques and Practicalities

Alternative Ways to Incorporate Art Therapy Sessions at Home



Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are both autoimmune conditions with interrelated connections.

Psoriasis often presents itself as an inflamed, itchy, and sometimes tender skin condition.

Popularly known as psoriasis vulgaris or plaque psoriasis, it speeds up the growth of skin cells, causing red, scaly patches.

Psoriatic arthritis, on the other hand, affects the joints of your body, causing pain, swelling, and morning stiffness.

Research shows that up to 30% of people with psoriasis will eventually develop PsA, and approximately 85% of those with PsA also have skin psoriasis.

Understanding your psoriasis area severity index (PASI) is essential, as it provides a clear perspective on the severity of your condition, ranging from mild to moderate to severe psoriasis.

Severe cases can have a considerable impact on your quality of life and may require more aggressive treatment methods.

For those with moderate to severe psoriasis, various treatment options are available including topicals, phototherapy, and systemic medications.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - two jars of AF27 Skincare for psoriasis, both on their side one jar shows the front with name and logo, the other shows the back with ingredients and how to use instructions.

In the case of psoriatic arthritis, treatments may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), methotrexate, sulfasalazine, and biologic therapies.

It's crucial to monitor both conditions and seek medical advice to determine the appropriate treatment for you.

Combining your psoriasis treatment with creative activities like art therapy can offer further benefits.

Engaging in creative activities may help reduce stress, improve psychological wellbeing, and promote a sense of accomplishment.

Art therapy can act as a healthy outlet for expression and self-discovery.

By tapping into your artistic side, you can better understand and manage the physical and emotional impact of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.


Understanding Art Therapy

Art therapy is a therapeutic method that combines creative expression with talk therapy, all facilitated by a credentialed mental health professional.

The American Art Therapy Association states that art therapy integrates mental health and human services through active art-making, creative processes, and applied psychological theories.

It is part of the larger field of expressive therapies, which includes other techniques like music therapy and dance therapy.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - a multi-ethnic group of adult women are dancing in a studio.

As you engage in art therapy sessions, you will work with various art materials and methods, such as painting, drawing, collage, and sculpting.

The process of creating art can be a powerful tool in self-exploration and emotional healing.

Your therapist will guide you through the process of expressing your feelings and thoughts through art, while also discussing and interpreting the meaning behind your creations.

Some key benefits of art therapy include:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety: Engaging in creative activities can help you relax and release built-up tension. This can be particularly useful for managing the stress that comes with living with a chronic condition like psoriasis.


  • Improved self-awareness and self-esteem: Art therapy can help you gain a deeper understanding of your emotions and thought patterns, as well as help boost your self-confidence as you create personal and meaningful artwork.


  • Development of interpersonal skills: Participating in a therapy group setting provides opportunities to learn, grow, and connect with others who may be facing similar challenges. Group art therapy sessions can help facilitate these connections by creating a supportive environment where everyone can express themselves creatively.

For people dealing with psoriasis, art therapy can be a useful way of managing both the physical and emotional symptoms.

Developing a creative outlet for self-expression and exploration could provide much-needed relief from the daily challenges of living with this skin condition.

Remember, it's essential to work with a qualified and experienced art therapist to ensure you receive the appropriate support and guidance throughout your art therapy journey.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - positive young female therapist gestures as she talks with a female client.


Creative Expression and Psoriasis Management

Incorporating creative expression into your psoriasis management routine can provide multiple benefits.

Engaging in various forms of art therapy can help you cope with the emotional and psychological aspects of the condition.

Music therapy is a type of creative expression that involves using music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs.

You can participate in music therapy by playing musical instruments, singing, or listening to music.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - a group of people making music with rhythm instruments as musical therapy.

This form of therapy can help reduce stress levels, increase relaxation, and improve your overall well-being, which may positively impact your psoriasis symptoms.

Group therapy provides an opportunity for you to connect with others who are dealing with similar challenges.

Sharing your experiences through creative outlets such as visual art, writing, or even dance can be beneficial in fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual support.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - close up of men putting one hand on top of the next one in art therapy class.

Participating in group therapy can help you learn new ways to cope with your symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

Visual art therapy encourages self-expression through different mediums such as painting, drawing, or photography.

Engaging in these activities can help you externalize your emotions and reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression associated with psoriasis.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - overhead shot of hand drawing a pretty pattern on a pad of paper, on the table art supplies are all around.

Visual art is also a great way to document your journey and track any changes in your skin over time.

Sculpting can be a therapeutic way for you to channel your emotions into a tangible form.

Whether you choose to work with clay, wood, or other materials, sculpting allows you to mold your thoughts and feelings into a physical object.

This may help you gain a better understanding of your emotions and find new strategies for coping with your psoriasis.

The process of creating art in any form can enable you to express your emotions and experiences in a healthy, constructive manner.

This focus on self-expression can assist in reducing stress and enhancing your ability to manage psoriasis symptoms and their emotional impact.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - close up of female hands make a pot on a pottery wheel.

By incorporating different forms of creative expression into your self-care routine, you may find additional ways to cope with the various challenges presented by psoriasis.

You can experiment with different art forms such as music, visual arts, and sculpting to discover which methods resonate with you and aid you in managing your symptoms.


Art Therapy for Mental Health in Psoriasis Patients

As a psoriasis patient, you may experience mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, which can significantly impact your emotional well-being.

Art therapy, an integrative mental health technique, offers a creative approach to help manage these symptoms.

By engaging in art-making activities, you can improve your emotional regulation, providing a constructive outlet for negative emotions.

This creative form of self-expression allows you to explore your feelings and thoughts, fostering a better understanding of your psychological state.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis -close up portrait of a young female artist having fun, smiling, and showing her hands covered in paint.

Furthermore, art therapy can empower you, helping build confidence and resilience.

In a group setting, art therapy can enhance social connections, reducing feelings of isolation that often accompany mental health conditions.

By sharing your artwork and discussing your experiences, you can find support and validation from others facing similar challenges.

To reap the benefits of art therapy, consider seeking a professional art therapist who can guide you through the process.

You don't need to be artistically skilled or experienced, as the focus is on your emotional growth and well-being, rather than the quality of the artwork.

Remember that incorporating art therapy into your treatment plan can complement traditional therapies for mental health conditions, promoting a holistic approach towards improved mental health in psoriasis patients.


Evidence-Based Benefits of Art Therapy for Psoriasis

Art therapy has emerged as a useful complementary treatment for managing various mental and physical health conditions.

In particular, recent academic research and clinical studies have begun to examine the potential benefits of art therapy for those living with psoriasis.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - senior woman modeling clay on ceramics workshop.

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the gold standard for evaluating the effectiveness of such interventions.

While there's limited research specifically examining the impact of art therapy on psoriasis, some studies have shown its potential in helping patients cope with related stress and mental health issues, which can contribute to symptom management and improved overall well-being.

For instance, one meta-analysis of randomized trials found that creative therapies, including art therapy, led to improvements in psychological outcomes for various medical populations.

In the context of psoriasis, art therapy can not only foster self-expression and self-awareness but also create an outlet for emotional processing.

Several peer-reviewed studies from research institutions have demonstrated the therapeutic potential of mindfulness-based techniques, which can be effectively incorporated into art therapy sessions.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - calm relaxed young woman taking a break from stressful office work.

When combined, mindfulness practices and creative expression can help you cultivate self-compassion and better manage daily stressors.

Group sessions have shown to be especially beneficial in amplifying the power of art therapy.

Sharing experiences in a supportive environment alongside fellow individuals with psoriasis can facilitate connections, empathy, and understanding.

According to the American and World Health Organization, social support and a sense of belonging can not only improve mental health but also contribute to better management of chronic conditions like psoriasis.

While more research is needed in the context of art therapy for psoriasis specifically, current evidence broadly indicates that it may be a promising avenue for exploration.

Receiving art therapy may promote a sense of well-being, self-worth, and empowerment, which in turn can positively impact your overall psoriasis symptom management.

It's worth considering exploring art therapy as a part of your comprehensive psoriasis care plan.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - cropped shot of a young woman sitting with her friends and painting during art therapy class.

Consult with your healthcare team to discuss possibilities and find qualified art therapists who can work with you in a clinical setting.


Additional Applications and Related Therapies

Art therapy and other creative avenues can be helpful not only for managing psoriasis symptoms but also for various health conditions.

These alternative treatment programs can foster health and wellness in diverse situations.

In addition to art therapy, other therapeutic methods like music therapy, dance therapy, or guided imagery may act as useful tools for managing symptoms of various disorders.

Music therapy, for instance, has been demonstrated to benefit individuals with age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - music therapy in dementia treatment on elderly woman.

These creative therapies can also aid people with limited verbal abilities or in situations with language barriers.

Besides conventional Western medicine, some individuals seek relief through alternative healing practices like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

Network meta-analysis has been used to evaluate the effectiveness of various TCM interventions, often focusing on the treatment of skin conditions.

Moreover, some psoriasis treatments adopt a more holistic approach.

For example, Goeckerman therapy combines coal tar treatment with light therapy, which can be more effective for certain individuals because coal tar makes skin more responsive to ultraviolet B (UVB) light.

Another alternative includes the use of biosimilar drugs, which can cost up to 30% less than their biologic counterparts and have been approved by the FDA for treating psoriasis.

It's worth noting that several factors, such as the health condition, stage, and individual preferences, play a significant role in determining the most suitable alternative treatment program.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - traditional chinese medicine, studio shooting, close-up.

You should always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new therapy to ensure it's appropriate for you and that it won't conflict with existing treatment plans.


Art Therapy Techniques and Practicalities

Art therapy can be highly beneficial for people struggling with psoriasis, as it offers a safe space to express their thoughts and emotions, foster a sense of calm, and explore creative ways to manage symptoms.

Utilizing a range of expressive arts, like painting, drawing, sculpture, or collages, it encourages individuals to openly express their feelings while developing coping mechanisms.

When experiencing a flare-up, taking part in art therapy can provide relief and distraction.

For older adults or people with cancer also dealing with psoriasis, this creative outlet can be especially helpful in reducing stress and anxiety.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - a retired Anglo-Caribbean man is painting onto a canvas, he is holding a palette in one hand as he reaches for the canvas with a brush in the other hand.

Regular practice of art therapy may lead to a significant reduction in the severity of your symptoms.

In some cases, combining art therapy with a treatment program, such as PUVA or topical and systemic therapies, may help you to gain a holistic approach to managing your psoriasis.

Engaging in expressive arts with a trained therapist offers guidance and support while you navigate new techniques and creative expressions.

The average age of participants in art therapy varies widely, emphasizing its accessibility to people from all walks of life.

It's important to remember that while art therapy can be an effective way to enhance your well-being, it should be approached with a clear and realistic understanding of its benefits and limitations.

Be confident and knowledgeable in your pursuit of creative healing, and remember to maintain open communication with your healthcare providers to ensure the best possible outcome.


Alternative Ways to Incorporate Art Therapy Sessions at Home


While group art therapy sessions can be a valuable experience for many individuals, it's important to recognize that they may not be suitable or preferred by everyone.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - female coloring adult coloring book at home to relieve stress.

If you are someone who does not enjoy the group setting but still wants to explore the therapeutic benefits of art therapy, there are alternative ways to incorporate this practice into your daily routine.

Here are some examples of how you can engage in art therapy at home:


  • Keeping an Art Journal: Start a personal art journal where you can freely express your thoughts and emotions through drawing, painting, or writing. This private space allows you to reflect on your experiences with psoriasis and delve deeper into your feelings without any external pressure.


  • Create a Collage: Collect images from magazines or printouts that resonate with how you feel about your psoriasis journey and arrange them on poster board or canvas. Creating a collage allows you to visually represent different aspects of your experience and process complex emotions in a creative way.


  • Try Adult Coloring Books: Coloring books designed specifically for adults have gained popularity as a stress-relief tool in recent years. Engaging in coloring activities can help calm anxiety and promote relaxation while providing an artistic outlet.


  • Sculpt with Clay: Purchase some modeling clay or Play-Doh and sculpt shapes or objects that symbolize various aspects of living with psoriasis for you. Mold the clay using soothing motions, allowing yourself to physically release tension while channeling emotions into tangible creations.


  • Create Healing Mandalas: Use geometric patterns or designs to create mandalas - circular artworks often used for meditation purposes - that symbolize healing, balance, and harmony in relation to your experience with psoriasis.


  • Benefit from Digital Art Platforms: Explore digital platforms like Procreate or Adobe Fresco if traditional art materials don't appeal to you. It offers various brushes, textures,and tools. Use these apps on tablet devices along with Apple Pencil or stylus to create digital art like painting, sketching and even animations


It's important to note that while engaging in these activities at home can be therapeutic, they are not a substitute for professional guidance.

If you feel the need for additional support or want more structured art therapy experiences, consider working with a qualified and experienced art therapist who can provide personalized guidance.

Remember, the goal of incorporating art therapy into your psoriasis management is to find ways to express yourself creatively and relieve emotional stress.

Art Therapy for Psoriasis - Fruit figures made of play doh on the globe.

By exploring different artistic mediums and techniques in a comfortable environment whether it's at home or with the help of a professional you can discover new avenues for self-expression and coping strategies that work best for you.




Q: What is art therapy, and how does it help psoriasis patients?


A: Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that utilizes creative expression to support individuals with psoriasis. It aids in symptom management, reduces stress, and promotes emotional well-being.


Q: Is art therapy a standalone treatment for psoriasis?


A: No, art therapy is not a substitute for medical treatments. It is used as a complementary approach alongside conventional therapies.


Q: Can art therapy cure psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis?


A: Art therapy does not cure psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, but it can improve mental health and quality of life for affected individuals.


Q: Who can benefit from art therapy for psoriasis?


A: Art therapy can benefit anyone with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, regardless of age or severity of the condition.


Q: What types of art activities are used in art therapy for psoriasis patients?


A: Art therapy may involve painting, drawing, sculpting, collage-making, and other creative activities tailored to individual preferences and needs.


Q: Is artistic talent necessary to participate in art therapy?


A: No, artistic skills are not required in art therapy. The focus is on self-expression, not artistic proficiency.


Q: How does art therapy contribute to mental health in psoriasis patients?


A: Art therapy provides an outlet for emotions, reduces stress, and helps individuals cope with the emotional impact of living with psoriasis.


Q: Can art therapy be conducted in a group setting?


A: Yes, group art therapy can be beneficial as it fosters a supportive environment and encourages social interaction.


Q: Are there any risks or side effects associated with art therapy for psoriasis?


A: Art therapy is generally safe, with no significant risks or side effects. However, individuals with specific psychological concerns should consult a qualified art therapist.


Q: Can individuals engage in art therapy at home without a professional therapist?


A: Yes, individuals can incorporate art therapy into their daily lives by engaging in creative activities at home, although professional guidance may enhance the experience.


Art Therapy for Psoriasis - 2 young woman sit at a table and are coloring together in the same book.




Art therapy offers a promising avenue for individuals with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis to complement their conventional treatments and improve overall well-being.


By tapping into the healing power of creative expression, art therapy helps patients manage symptoms, reduce stress, and enhance their mental health.


Evidence supports its effectiveness in contributing to the holistic approach to psoriasis management.


Whether in a formal therapeutic setting or at home, the versatility of art therapy empowers patients to explore their emotions, find solace in their creativity, and foster a deeper connection with themselves on their journey to healing and acceptance.


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