Many people will agree that winter is a beautiful time of the year. But for the more than 3 million people suffering from psoriasis in the US every year, winter is no picnic. Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes the rapid turnover of skin cells. These cells build up on the skin and create scaly, itchy skin, and dry patches. Now imagine having to deal with this in the dead of winter. Well, if you are a psoriasis sufferer, then you know all too well how irritating and occasionally painful it is to manage psoriasis in cold weather. To ease the stress, here are a few tips you can use to handle the condition this winter.
We all know that there is no cure for psoriasis. Instead, we can only hope to treat its symptoms. If your doctor prescribed treatment medication like steroids, Vitamin A, or immunosuppressants, it is imperative that you continue to take/apply them as directed for proper psoriasis treatment. These treatments are meant to keep some of the symptoms at bay and prevent flare ups. So keeping up with them may be your best defense against the cold winter months for your sensitive skin. The same goes for laser therapy. If you’ve begun this helpful treatment, be sure to go in as often as needed.
Cold air and bitter winds are sure to dry out healthy skin. For those with psoriasis, it’s even worse. To avoid being dried out and triggering a flare up, opt for staying in doors. If that isn’t possible, be sure to wear warm clothes including a scarf to cover your face.
Psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body especially the arms and shoulder/back. With that being the case, the last thing you’ll want is to be trapped in a “trigger chamber”. Your trigger chamber is the clothes that irritate your skin. This can include materials like wool. Jeans, leather, and any stiff fabric that doesn’t allow your skin to breathe. Also, be sure to wash your clothes using gentle detergents.
The main issue with psoriasis is the dry, scaly skin that causes itching irritation. While regular moisturizers aren’t going to stop the rapid turnover of cells, staying moisturized with this lotions, ointments, and petroleum jelly can alleviate some of the dryness and itchiness. It’s imperative that you moisturize throughout the day including when you get out of the shower or bath, and of course when you go out.
Keeping your skin moist is key to battling psoriasis symptoms. But what do you do at night when you’re asleep and prone to dryness? Use a humidifier! They may be decorative but they do the trick by keeping the air, and in turn your skin, moisturized while you sleep.
Winter can be quite fun, but don’t allow the fun to distract you from paying attention to your triggers. Whether it is food, emotions, or activities, keep an eye on the things that may cause a flare up and avoid them at all costs.
You need to visit your dermatologist regularly to keep a close eye on your cognition and any changes that may occur.