Winter and Psoriasis – 13 Useful Tips
As a psoriasis sufferer myself, I know that during the winter months the condition can be aggravated for several reasons. Psoriasis is a very common chronic inflammatory skin disease. It is characterized by red patches covered with white dandruff (dander).
The rash is mainly on the scalp, knees, elbows, lower back, legs, arms, hands and feet, body folds and, rarely, the face. As most of these places are covered during the cold season, they are rarely exposed to the sun rays as it would in the spring or summer.
About 2 to 3% of the world population is concerned by this uncomfortable skin condition. The disease affects people of all ages, but usually starts quite young (around 20 years old) or older (over 60 years old). The exact cause of psoriasis is still unknown, but a genetic predisposition is certainly important. When one of the parents, a brother or sister suffers, there is a 16% risk of having it too. Psoriasis can not be cured but it can be treated well.
In winter, it can get worse because cold weather with low humidity and high indoor temperatures dry the skin and can cause small cracks, which increases the symptoms of psoriasis. As we said above, lack of sunshine can also make them worse, because sunlight has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin.
Below, you will find some suggestions and products that you can use to help you go through the winter with not too much problems. Let us know if you have a particular remedy that works well for you and you wish to share with my readers. Meanwhile, here are my 13 tips for you to …
Care for your psoriasis through winter …
1 – Cover the psoriasis areas with Vaseline or other fatty ointment. Do it anyway after bathing or showering, after washing your hands and before going to sleep …
2 – Use a lip balm. Simple and easy, also always available …
3 – Protect your skin with sunscreen adapted to the winter sun …
4 – Wear appropriate clothing during cold weather and protect yourself with a hat, a hat, gloves, a scarf … Avoid irritating textiles such as wool, or heavy and abrasive fabrics. Prefer to wear different layers of soft materials like cotton. Opt for a coat that is not too thick because perspiration can aggravate psoriasis.
5 – The central heating dries the air. Use humidifiers which you can easily find on Amazon at great prices. Here is one that I highly recommend, which is on promo at the moment: Amazon Humidifier
6 – Drink enough water. Yes, this is of most importance even though you may not be that thirsty in winter!
7 – Do not take too long hot showers, or too long hot baths: this alters the natural layer of fat that moisturizes the skin. Here is a complete guide that I have written a while ago on the subject: Baths and Skin Condition
8 – Prefer bath oil with soap. To dry, do not scrub but proceed by tapping. Always moisturize your skin after washing (with a fatty ointment) …
9 – From time to time take a relaxing bath with salt (Dead Sea) or bran. This helps to loosen dandruff, relieve itching and provide a relaxing effect. Always smear your skin with ointment after bathing. Here is an article I have also written about the benefits of taking a bath with Dead Sea salts.
Here are a few suggestions …
10 – The sunbed will not improve your condition and may even aggravate it. In addition, it’s bad for the skin (risk factor for cancer). The sunbeds diffuse mainly UVA rays and almost no UVB rays, which have a positive effect on psoriasis. Also another article that you might like to read: Successful Bleu Light Therapy for Psoriasis
11 – The sauna is not a good idea either. A conventional sauna usually has no effect on psoriasis, except that it may worsen the symptoms. Excessive sweating can cause itching and inflammation of psoriatic lesions.
If you are going to the sauna anyway, start with short sessions and rinse with warm water rather than cold water. Absolutely avoid using what can aggravate inflammation, such as the horsehair glove.
What is true for the sauna is even more true for the steam bath or steam room: you will sweat even more, faster and in addition, they dry out the skin.
12 – Infections such as the flu or cold can aggravate psoriasis. It is therefore advisable to get vaccinated against the flu and take precautions against the cold (washing your hands regularly, using a disinfectant …). Also avoid situations (physical or emotional) that make you more susceptible to infections.
13 – Consult your doctor if the symptoms worsen. Perhaps the drugs can be rehabilitated or it will be useful to institute a temporary treatment of UVB light therapy and / or PUVA therapy.
Other recommended articles:
Try to remember these recommendations for your psoriasis during this winter …
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Thank you for this post.
My husband suffers from psoriasis and it’s especially bad in the wintertime.
Sadly, I’m not sure how much he’ll follow some of these suggestions. One of his favorite activities is a long hot shower. . I also think he’s not drinking enough water. Diet Coke is his vice.
Still, I think you offer great advice here and I’m going to share it with him.
Yes, I see Scott, your husband is just doing the wrong things but maybe when you show him this website he might find out that it is worth doing at least one or two of the right things to feel better. I know that sometimes we feel that it is unfair that we have to stop doing what we love best doing to live normally while others don’t need to restrict themselves.
So, why not you buy him some of the great products that can help with his skin condition and that he might love using. For example since he loves taking long hot showers, why not suggest that he takes long but not so hot baths with Dead Sea salts in it. It is extremely relaxing and pleasant. Yes, try that to start with and if he likes it and feels a real difference, buy him a cream, and so on. Christmas is coming, think about offering him a set of products that will be most useful to him.
If you have any questions or need some suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me again.