Finding Inner Peace: Using Mindfulness and Meditation to Soothe Psoriasis


Living with psoriasis can be a challenge, not just because of the physical symptoms but also the stress that often comes with managing a chronic skin condition. One approach that has gained interest in recent years is the use of mindfulness and meditation techniques to help improve skin health and reduce stress levels. Incorporating these practices into your daily routine may offer benefits in managing your psoriasis symptoms.

Mindfulness and Meditation - Healthy mind body and spirit. Transparent image of a woman sitting cross legged in a yoga pose, through her we are able to see another image of her jogging.

Research suggests that mindfulness and meditation can help alleviate stress, which is often a trigger for psoriasis flare-ups. Practicing mindfulness allows you to focus on the present moment, accepting your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This can help you stay present and grounded, enabling you to better cope with any stress that might arise. Similarly, guided meditation gives you the opportunity to find moments of peace and relaxation, which can have a positive effect on your psoriasis symptoms.

While these techniques might not completely cure your psoriasis, incorporating these practices into a comprehensive skin care routine can lead to noticeable improvements in your condition. By focusing on reducing stress, you can enhance your overall well-being and better manage your psoriasis symptoms.

Key Takeaways

  • Mindfulness and meditation can be beneficial for managing psoriasis. Practicing mindfulness can help reduce stress levels, which may improve psoriasis symptoms.


  • Meditation techniques such as deep breathing and body scan can promote relaxation and alleviate psoriasis-related discomfort.


  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programs have shown promising results in reducing psoriasis severity.


  • Integrating mindfulness meditation into daily routines can enhance overall well-being for individuals with psoriasis.


  • Used as a tool mindfulness and meditation can complement medical treatments for psoriasis, providing a holistic approach to managing the condition.


  • There are various mindfulness and meditation apps available that can assist individuals with psoriasis in practicing these techniques.


  • Regular practice of mindfulness and guided meditation may contribute to building resilience and coping skills for individuals living with psoriasis.


  • The effect of meditation on psoriasis requires consistency, so stay with it to see your best results.



Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Key Takeaways
  • Table of Contents
  • Understanding Psoriasis
  • Practicing Mindfulness and Meditation
  • Scientific Evidence
  • Mindfulness and Meditation for Psoriasis
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Tips for Incorporating Mindfulness and Meditation
  • FAQ’s
  • Conclusion


Understanding Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that affects millions of people worldwide. In this section, you'll learn about the symptoms and triggers of psoriasis, along with the different types of this condition.

Symptoms and Triggers

Psoriasis manifests as patches of red, inflamed skin covered with silver-white scales. These patches, known as plaques, can be itchy and painful. While the severity of symptoms varies from person to person, certain factors can trigger or exacerbate psoriasis.

  • Stress: Emotional stress can cause flare-ups or worsen existing symptoms.
  • Infections: Bacterial or viral infections, such as strep throat or the flu, can trigger a psoriasis episode.
  • Skin injury: Cuts, sunburn, or even excessive scratching can cause a psoriasis flare-up.
  • Certain medications: Some drugs, including blood pressure medications and lithium, can worsen psoriasis symptoms.

Managing these triggers can help in reducing the frequency and severity of your psoriasis flare-ups.

Mindfulness and Meditation - Six dice spell out the word stress, a seventh dice is being changed by a hand to make the word say “stressfree” instead of “stressful”.

Types of Psoriasis

There are several types of psoriasis, each with distinct characteristics:

  1. Plaque psoriasis: This is the most common form of the disease, affecting 80-90% of people with psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is characterized by raised, red patches with a silver-white coating of dead skin cells.
  2. Guttate psoriasis: Small, red dots on the skin characterize this type of psoriasis. Guttate psoriasis is often triggered by infections, such as strep throat.
  3. Inverse psoriasis: This type affects the folds and creases of your skin, such as under your arms and behind your knees. Inverse psoriasis causes smooth, red patches without scales.
  4. Pustular psoriasis: As the name suggests, pustular psoriasis features small, pus-filled blisters. It usually affects adults and can be localized to specific areas or cover most of your body.
  5. Erythrodermic psoriasis: The least common but most severe form of psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis causes widespread redness and inflammation, often accompanied by fever and chills.


Type of Psoriasis




Affected Body Areas


Other Relevant Information


Plaque Psoriasis


80-90% of cases


Scalp, elbows, knees, lower back, and genitals


Most common type of psoriasis, characterized by raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells.


Guttate Psoriasis


10% of cases


Trunk, arms, legs, and scalp


Often triggered by a bacterial infection, appears as small, pink-red spots on the skin


Inverse Psoriasis


Less than 5% of cases


Skin folds, such as under the breasts, in the armpits, or around the genitals


Characterized by smooth, red patches of skin that worsen with friction and sweating



Pustular Psoriasis


Less than 5% of cases


Hands and feet, but can also occur on other parts of the body


Characterized by white, pus-filled blisters surrounded by red skin



Erythrodermic Psoriasis


Less than 1% of cases


The entire body


A severe and potentially life-threatening type of psoriasis that causes widespread redness, itching, and pain



It's important to note that psoriasis can also affect the nails, causing them to become pitted, discolored, or thickened. Psoriasis can be associated with other health conditions, such as psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and depression. Treatment options for psoriasis vary depending on the type and severity of the condition but may include topical creams, light therapy, and systemic medications.

Two jars of extra strength AF27 psoriasis cream, one jar opened the other closed.

Knowing your psoriasis triggers and understanding the different types of this condition can help you manage your symptoms effectively. Mindfulness and meditation practices are emerging as helpful tools for reducing stress and psoriasis severity and quality.

Practicing Mindfulness and Meditation


Incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine can help reduce stress and anxiety, which may contribute to improving psoriasis severity and patient quality. One effective technique to begin your practice is to focus on your breath. Paying attention to the sensation of inhaling and exhaling can anchor you in the present moment, promoting relaxation and mental well-being.

Another technique involves body scan exercises, where you intentionally bring awareness to each part of your body, noticing any physical sensations that arise. This can help promote relaxation and teach you to better manage discomfort related to psoriasis.

 Mindfulness and Meditation - Young man laying on the floor with his eyes closed, doing full body scan meditation.

You might also consider participating in a mindfulness-based program such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) or Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), both of which have gained recognition for their effectiveness in coping with stress, anxiety, and promoting well-being.


Mindfulness and meditation can offer various benefits for psoriasis patients beyond stress reduction. As you become more attuned to the present moment and sensations, you may develop greater emotional resilience and the ability to manage flare-ups more effectively.

Several studies support the positive impact of mindfulness and meditation on skin health. According to a systematic review, five of six randomized controlled trials demonstrated improvement in self-administered psoriasis area and severity index (saPASI) scoring after 8 or 12 weeks of meditation or mindfulness interventions.

Furthermore, research suggests that meditation can improve mental health and overall quality of life for psoriasis patients in the short term. The combination of physical and psychological benefits may lead to an overall improvement in well-being and skin clearing in patients.

Mindfulness and Meditation - Close up of woman with normal skin.

Scientific Evidence

Psoriasis and Stress

Psoriasis is a chronic, recurrent inflammatory skin condition that is often associated with stress. When you experience stress, it can trigger or exacerbate psoriasis flare-ups. Stress and anxiety can also impact your mental health, leading to depression and reducing the overall quality of life. In fact, a systematic review has shown that there is evidence to support the relationship between stress and psoriasis.

Mindfulness-Based Interventions

As a means to cope with this connection between stress and psoriasis, practitioners are increasingly recommending mindfulness and meditation as non-pharmacological interventions. Mindfulness and meditation can help you in managing your stress, anxiety, and depression, ultimately improving your mental health.

Several studies have been conducted to explore the effects of mindfulness and meditation on psoriasis treatment. In a study with 37 patients undergoing phototherapy or photochemotherapy, those who practiced mindfulness-based stress reduction saw improvement in the rate at which their psoriasis cleared.

Mindfulness and Meditation - Washing hands with ultra violet light.

Recent research has also provided an update on the role of mindfulness and meditation, identifying one case-control study, six randomized clinical trials, and one non-randomized clinical trial.

These studies have observed the following benefits for patients with psoriasis who practice mindfulness or meditation:

  • Lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Improved management of pain and symptoms
  • Enhanced overall mental well-being

By adopting mindfulness and meditation practices in your daily routine, you may experience significant improvement in managing stress, reducing symptoms, and attaining better mental health related to your psoriasis condition. Remember to consult your healthcare professional for personalized advice and explore various mindfulness-based techniques to find the most suitable approach for your needs.

Mindfulness and Meditation for Psoriasis

Reducing Flares

Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help you manage your psoriasis by reducing stress, which is a common trigger for psoriasis flares. Studies show that these techniques can decrease the frequency of flares and improve overall skin health.

When you engage in meditation, you can shift your focus away from worry and negative thoughts, which may exacerbate your psoriasis. Consistently practicing meditation can also help you gain a new perspective on your condition and develop healthier coping strategies.

To get started, consider incorporating the following practices into your routine:

  • Breathing exercises: Focus on your breath and take deep, slow breaths in and out to help calm your mind and body.
  • Body scan meditation: Mentally scan your body, starting from your toes and moving upwards, noting any sensations or discomfort.
  • Guided imagery: Envision yourself in a peaceful setting, focusing on the details and sensations of that environment.
Mindfulness and Meditation - Senior woman practicing yoga at home, making alternate nostril breathing exercise.

    Consistency is the key needed to evaluate the effects. Set aside time each day to practice mindfulness and meditation, even if it's just for a few minutes.

    Managing Itch

    Itchiness is a common and bothersome symptom of psoriasis. Mindfulness and meditation can help reduce itching by minimizing stress and assisting with the management of chronic pain. Being present and aware of your body's sensations can help you develop better strategies for coping with itchiness and discomfort.

    Try the following techniques to manage itch and psoriasis-related pain:

    • Progressive muscle relaxation: Tense and relax different muscle groups, focusing on the sensation of release as you let go of tension.
    • Distraction: Engage in an activity that captures your attention, such as reading, knitting, or watching a show, to redirect your awareness away from the itch.
    • Aging exercise: Visualize your skin healing over time, imagining smoother, healthier skin in the future.

    Incorporating physical exercise into your routine may also help reduce itchiness and improve your overall well-being. Choose low-impact activities such as walking, yoga, or swimming to minimize stress on your joints.

    Mindfulness and Meditation - Person swimming in open water, sunset in the background.

    By integrating mindfulness and meditation practices into your daily life, you can better manage your psoriasis symptoms and improve the quality of your skin health over time. Remember, patience and consistency are essential as you adapt these practices to suit your needs and lifestyle.

    Complementary Therapies

    Light Therapy

    Undergoing phototherapy, or photochemotherapy treatment can be an effective complementary treatment for psoriasis. It involves exposing your skin to controlled amounts of UV light to slow down the growth of skin cells. This treatment can be done using natural sunlight or specialized equipment in a medical setting. A more potent type of light therapy called photochemotherapy combines UV light with a light-sensitizing medication, which enhances treatment efficacy.

    Diet and Exercise

    A healthy diet and regular exercise can not only improve your general well-being but may also help to alleviate psoriasis symptoms. Some research suggests that following a wholesome, anti-inflammatory diet may help reduce flare-ups.

    Consider incorporating the following into your diet:

    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Lean proteins, such as fish and poultry
    • Whole grains
    • Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like chia seeds and walnuts
    Mindfulness and Meditation - Foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, top view.

      Regular exercise can also benefit your skin health by reducing stress levels and improving your overall mood. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. You may also want to try yoga, as it can help manage stress, which can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms.

      Alternative Approaches

      Delving into alternative treatments may provide you with additional tools to manage your psoriasis. Acupuncture and guided imagery are two such treatments that have been gaining attention in recent years.

      Acupuncture, although not specifically studied for psoriasis, may help to alleviate stress and support overall well-being. On the other hand, guided imagery—a form of relaxation technique—aims to create positive mental images that can help soothe the mind and body. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that adopting mindfulness and meditation practices can improve self-reported psoriasis severity and reduce anxiety.

      While exploring complementary therapies for psoriasis, it's crucial to consult your healthcare providers before starting any new treatment plan. They can help you determine whether these approaches are suitable for your condition and how they may fit into your current treatment regimen.

      Tips for Incorporating Mindfulness and Meditation

      Setting Realistic Goals

      To start your mindfulness and meditation journey for psoriasis management, it's important to set realistic goals. Understand that your focus should be on reducing stress and improving your overall well-being, rather than expecting an instant cure for your skin condition. Remember, reducing stress can help alleviate psoriasis symptoms and minimize flare-ups.

      Begin with small, achievable steps, such as:

      • Include meditation for 5-10 minutes per day
      • Practicing mindfulness during everyday activities like eating or walking
      • Focusing on one specific aspect of your stress or emotional well-being

      Creating a Routine

      Establishing a routine that incorporates mindfulness and meditation is essential for consistency and effectiveness.

      Consider the following steps to create your routine:

      1. Choose a comfortable and quiet space: Find a designated area in your home where you can practice without distractions.
      2. Set a specific time: Schedule your meditation or mindfulness sessions into your daily routine, ideally during a time when you'll be the least stressed and most receptive.
      3. Select your preferred method: Explore different meditation techniques, such as guided imagery, breathing exercises, or body scans, and choose the one that resonates with you the most.

      To enhance your practice, incorporate the following elements:

      • Acceptance: Embrace your emotions and thoughts without judgment, acknowledging their presence and learning to coexist with them.
      • Compassion: Develop self-compassion and kindness towards yourself, especially during difficult situations or flare-ups.
      • Mindfulness: Stay present and attentive to your experiences, whether it's your breath, bodily sensations, or emotions.
      Mindfulness and Meditation - Singing bowls meditation, people group at sound healing therapy session.

        Incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine can help improve your overall well-being, reduce stress, and alleviate symptoms of psoriasis. Remember to remain patient and committed to your practice, as the benefits will reveal themselves over time.


        Q: What is psoriasis?

        A: Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects the skin, causing red, itchy, and scaly patches. It is not contagious and can vary in severity from person to person.


        Q: How can mindfulness and meditation help with psoriasis?

        A: Mindfulness and meditation techniques can help manage psoriasis through mental health benefits by reducing stress levels, promoting relaxation, and enhancing overall well-being. These practices can complement medical treatments and provide a holistic approach to managing the condition.


        Q: What mindfulness techniques are beneficial for individuals with psoriasis?

        A: Mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, body scans, and guided imagery can be beneficial for individuals with psoriasis. These practices help individuals focus their attention on the present moment, promote relaxation, and reduce stress and anxiety related to the condition.


        Q: Are there any scientific studies supporting the effectiveness of mindfulness for psoriasis?

        A: Yes, scientific evidence suggests that mindfulness-based interventions, including mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programs, can be effective in reducing the severity of psoriasis symptoms. These programs incorporate mindfulness practices and have shown promising results in improving overall well-being for individuals with psoriasis.


        Q: Can mindfulness and meditation help reduce psoriasis flares?

        A: While mindfulness and meditation cannot cure psoriasis, they can help manage flares. By reducing stress and promoting relaxation, these practices may contribute to minimizing the frequency and intensity of flares, leading to a better quality of life for individuals with psoriasis.


        Q: Can mindfulness and meditation help manage itchiness associated with psoriasis?

        A: Mindfulness and meditation techniques can be helpful in managing itchiness associated with psoriasis. By bringing awareness to the sensations and using relaxation techniques, individuals can experience relief from itchiness and improve their overall comfort.


        Q: Are there any complementary therapies that can be used along with mindfulness and meditation for psoriasis management?

        A: Yes, there are complementary therapies that can be used in conjunction with mindfulness and meditation for psoriasis management. Light therapy, which involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light, has shown positive results in reducing psoriasis symptoms. Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise can support overall well-being and potentially improve psoriasis symptoms.


        Q: How can individuals incorporate mindfulness and meditation into their daily lives?

        A: Incorporating mindfulness and meditation into daily life can be achieved by setting realistic goals, creating a routine, and finding a practice that suits individual preferences. Starting with short sessions and gradually increasing duration can help establish a sustainable practice. Mindfulness and meditation apps can also provide guidance and support for regular practice.


        Q: Can mindfulness and meditation replace medical treatments for psoriasis?

        A: Mindfulness and meditation should not replace medical treatments for psoriasis. They can be used as complementary approaches to enhance well-being and support the management of psoriasis symptoms. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to develop a comprehensive treatment plan that includes both medical interventions and holistic practices.


        Q: Is mindfulness and meditation suitable for everyone with psoriasis?

        A: Mindfulness and meditation can be beneficial for most individuals with psoriasis. However, it is essential to consider individual circumstances and preferences. Some individuals may find it challenging to practice mindfulness or meditation, and it is important to respect their comfort levels. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified mindfulness instructor to determine the most appropriate approach for each individual.


        Practicing mindfulness and meditation can have a positive impact on your psoriasis and overall mental health. By reducing stress through these practices, you may experience improved skin clearing and a better quality of life. Keep in mind that these benefits are usually most noticeable in the short term, and more research is needed to evaluate the long-term effects.

        To get started with mindfulness and meditation, consider setting aside a few minutes each day to focus on your breath, bring awareness to your body, and observe your thoughts without judgment. As you become more accustomed to these techniques, you can gradually increase the duration and frequency of your practice.

        You can also explore other relaxation techniques, such as yoga or tai chi, to help manage stress associated with psoriasis. Remember to be patient with yourself, as it may take some time to reap the full benefits.

        By consistently practicing mindfulness training and meditation, you can better manage your stress levels, potentially leading to improvements in both your skin health and overall well-being.


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