6 Tips to Manage Psoriasis in the Summertime

Last updated: April 2019

In another article, I highlighted the reasons why having psoriasis was most difficult for me in the summer. Since talking to others with psoriasis I've learned I was not alone in my sentiments. While summertime, most times is beneficial for those of us living with psoriasis, many of us are afraid to reap the benefits due to the challenges of feeling comfortable to reveal our affected skin to others. Managing psoriasis in the summertime comes with unique benefits and challenges compared to the other seasons. Here are 6 summertime tips to help manage your psoriasis.

Loosen up your style

I don't know about you, but sweat aggravates my psoriasis, and when summer comes so does an increase of sweat. When I sweat, my condition becomes itchy and irritated followed by an uncontrollable desire to scratch.  Friction from tight socks, underwear, belts, or other sources of clothes can make the itchy sensation worse.

  • Where slip-on pads opposed to ankle or calf socks.
  • Go commando
  • Try cloth or rope belts opposed to leather belts

Sunscreen, please

When summer comes it doesn't do so alone, with it comes festivals, pool time, amusement parks and more. Summer is a great time of the year to receive some natural and free treatment for psoriasis, sunlight. Natural sunlight is said to be very useful for people living with psoriasis, and while it can help, it can become too much of a good thing if you are not careful. If your source of treatment is natural sunlight, The National Psoriasis Foundation suggests starting with short exposure times and increasing it as each week goes by. Overexposure to sunlight can cause skin burns increasing one's chance of skin cancer. Too much sun can also trigger and irritate psoriasis. It's important to cover your body with sunscreen outside of those times you aren't treating your condition.

Fun in the pool

Water is generally good for psoriasis, but chlorinated water such as in a pool can irritate psoriasis especially if open sores are present. Chlorine also dries out the skin. If you decide to take a dive in the pool please remember the following:

  • Don't go in with any open sores or after vigorous scratching.
  • Slather your body with a petroleum ointment to had a barrier of protection from the chlorinated water.
  • Immediately after your swim rinse off well with non-chlorinate water

Keeping a letter of diagnosis 

I have mixed feelings on this tip, but there are several people living with psoriasis who have been discriminated against at public pools. They have been questioned about their skin, and some have even been accused of being contagious. If you are worried this could happen to you, I would keep handy a "letter of diagnosis." This letter basically explains what your condition is and has a doctor's signature.

Go to the beach

If you live by a beach take advantage of the wonderful natural healing qualities of ocean seawater. Salt water is said to be a temporary relief for our condition and helps aid in the healing by decreasing flaking, virtually minimizing the appearance of psoriasis.

Avoid alcohol

4th of July is the second largest holiday where people binge drink.1 Binge drinking is 4-5 drinks or more in one sitting. Alcohol is an irritant for those living with psoriasis. It dries out the skin worsening the symptoms of psoriasis. If you do decide to drink be sure to keep it to a low drink minimum and drink plenty of other fluids especially water.

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