Winter can be a really dreadful period for those suffering from psoriasis. The weather conditions during this season can have a toll on the skin, and make psoriasis even worse and difficult to manage. Harsh winter conditions such as dry winds, fewer hours of sunlight are known not to be favorable to the skin of people with this condition.
However, managing psoriasis in the winter is not as difficult as most people think. With some simple adjustments and a few precautions, you can effectively bring psoriasis under control and have an healthy looking skin as you would during the winter.
The various ways by which you can ease your skin irritation and effectively manage psoriasis during the winter are discussed below.
Always Use a Moisturizer
Due to the dry air conditions common during winter, the skin tends to quickly lose moisture and become dry. This aggravates psoriasis patches, increasing the urge to itch and redness of the skin.
To heal irritating psoriasis patches and maintain a moist skin under these dry conditions, ensure you apply a moisturizer on your skin.
For very dry skin, smooth on very thick moisturizing cream or ointment as those are more effective in locking moisture on the skin. Make sure to combine moisturizing soaps with moisturizing lotions and apply soon after taking a shower or a bathe for optimum results.
You can also apply anytime during the day if you notice your skin is getting dry again. To avoid adverse skin reactions, check carefully which products to use, the fragrance-free moisturizers are usually recommended and are less likely to result in allergic reactions.
Another way to allow your skin to cope during the winter is to use a humidifier. Indoor heating, which is also important for keeping warm in the winter, increases dryness, but using a humidifier will counter this drying effects. Especially during the night when you can not apply a moisturizer, humidifier maintains air moisture and prevent your skin from getting dry through the night. However, ensure you clean the humidifier as instructed to prevent build up of bacteria.
Use enough water
This still falls under the moisture category. Drinking plenty of water will surely go a long way to maintain your body moisture and keep you hydrated. Together with the two methods discussed earlier, drinking enough water will ensure that any skin irritation associated with skin dryness is prevented and brought under control.
Avoid Hot and Long Showers
Taking hot and long showers reduce moisture from the skin which in turn make psoriasis worse. Therefore, to avoid complicating your psoriasis symptoms, make sure the water is warm before taking a shower or bathe, and avoid taking too long before you soap up and rinse. Always apply a moisturizer thereafter.
However, to ease pains and soothe itching, you can soak your body in a tub filled with warm water containing oilated oatmeal, Epsom salts, or Dead Sea salts for about 15 minutes.
Wear Soft and Light Layers
Exposing your skin to the cold winter air can worsen your symptoms and trigger psoriasis flare-ups. Similarly, thick clothing materials will result in sweating which will also worsen your skin irritation. Therefore, you have to find a balance between covering up your skin and avoiding thick materials such as denim and wool. The best way is to dress in light and soft layers which you can easily take off when getting overheated. A soft scarf, hat and light gloves are examples of wears that can protect your skin when you are outdoors.
Talk to your doctor about Light Therapy
Exposing affected skin parts to sunlight is known to be a way to improve psoriasis flare-ups. Since exposure to sunlight is limited during the winter, you can discuss with your doctor the light therapy options available to you to manage psoriasis during this season.
There are a few UV therapy regimen available for psoriasis treatment during the winter but it is necessary to consult a doctor before opting for any. The doctor will assess your condition and determine which is the best for you.
While Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation therapy has been widely touted as the best for managing psoriasis, avoid using a tanning bed unless recommended and supervised by a doctor.
Ease Your Stress and Enlighten Your Mood
Since psoriasis is an auto-immune disease, stress can play a major factor in worsening psoriasis symptoms and flare-ups. Relax as much as you can and engage in activities or hobbies that will improve your mood as much as possible.
Physical exercise is one great way to reduce stress, keep fit and be healthy. Take up a moisturizing spa treatment or any other thing of interest to help you relax more during the winter and reduce your psoriasis flare-ups.