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Psoriasis: The Role of Skin Hydration

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease characterized by the emergence of red patches and whitish scales on the skin and scalp. Hydration plays a role in the treatment of this skin condition. Let's focus on its importance in alleviating the symptoms of psoriasis.

Published February 19, 2024, by Manon, Scientific Editor — 4 min read

Psoriasis, in brief.

The psoriasis is a skin disease that is recognized by the red and scaly patches that cover specific parts of the body. These can be a source of itching and irritation, their intensity varying from one individual to another. They appear following skin inflammation caused by a failure of the immune system. T lymphocytes produce inflammatory molecules (cytokines IL-17, IL-22, TNF-alpha, etc.). These stimulate the proliferation of keratinocytes. The renewal period of these cells, normally three weeks, then becomes three days. This results in an accumulation of immature keratinocytes on the skin surface, increasing the thickness of the outer layer (hyperkeratosis).

What is the role of hydration in relieving psoriasis?

One of the exacerbating factors of psoriasis is skin dryness. Indeed, hydration and the water content of the stratum corneum are key factors that allow the skin to perform its protective barrier function. Numerous studies have shown that the protective barrier function of the skin decreases and that transepidermal water loss increases in psoriatic lesions.

To alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis, it is crucial to maintain a constant level of skin hydration. The application of moisturizing treatments helps to strengthen the protective barrier by maintaining the hydrolipidic film and reducing the risk of skin dehydration . This makes the epidermis more resistant to external aggressions and reduces the Koebner phenomenon. This phenomenon refers to the appearance of new lesions from an already existing dermatosis, in this case psoriasis, on a previously healthy area of skin.

Moisturizing products are not a standalone treatment, but they are essential as an adjunct therapy. In addition to hydrating, these treatments also help soothe the skin from irritations caused by psoriasis.

How to hydrate the skin to combat psoriasis?

As we have just seen, hydration is a key factor in alleviating the symptoms of psoriasis. For this, there are a few simple steps to incorporate into your daily routine.

  • Opt for balms or moisturizing creams specifically designed for dry and atopic skin, avoiding perfumed products or those containing dyes that could further exacerbate skin irritations.

  • Choose products that contain moisturizing active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, urea, or ceramides. These active ingredients help to retain moisture in the skin and maintain a healthy skin barrier.

  • Regularly drinking water is recommended, specifically 1.5 liters of water per day to maintain a normal hydration level.

  • Use moisturizing and gentle shampoos, specifically formulated for dry and sensitive scalp. However, avoid shampoos containing sulfates and harsh foaming agents, as they can cause additional dryness of the scalp.


  • RIM J. H. & al. Electrical measurement of moisturizing effect on skin hydration and barrier function in psoriasis patients. Experimental Dermatology (2005).

  • FLUHR J. W. & al. Emollients, moisturizers, and keratolytic agents in psoriasis. Clinics in Dermatology (2008).

  • GELMETTI C. Therapeutic moisturizers as adjuvant therapy for psoriasis patients. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology (2009).


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