Ways You Can Combat Colder Weather with Psoriasis
Last updated: September 2023
For many with psoriasis, their condition either worsens or a flare of the disease appears in the winter. Due to the dry air, cold weather is pretty harsh on the skin and hair but especially for those with skin conditions like psoriasis. Winter weather drys out the skin, makes it hard to retain moisture, and can also be responsible for aching joints. Here are 6 tips that may help you combat the colder winter months while having psoriasis:
Drink more water
"Drink lots of water," is something you have probably heard all your life. But how does drinking more water really help the skin? The skin contains approximately 30% water, so it's an important component to the largest organ of your body. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health water contributes to the "plumpness, elasticity, and resiliency" of the skin. Water intake can also improve the appearance of the skin. I spoke to a fellow psoriasis sufferer not long ago who advised drinking more water helped him to manage his flares. It's important to remember causes of flares and effective treatments for this disease vary for person-to-person.
Take lukewarm showers and baths
Years ago I made a visit to the doctor to receive instructions on how to self-inject a biologic I was prescribed. As the nurse spoke to me about the do's and don'ts for my psoriasis, she mentioned only taking lukewarm showers and not hot. She advised taking a hot shower would be counterproductive to my treatment. Hot water dries out the skin which is not conducive to those with psoriasis.
Turn down the central heat
As the temperature outside decreases, the temperature inside usually rises. Central Heating is yet another foe for conditions such as psoriasis. Just like colder air, central heat can also dry out the skin and body. To combat this, turn the heat down and invest in an electric blanket to stay warm. Also take advantage of caulking your windows and hanging heavy curtains so cold air can't make it's way in. Not only will you be saving your skin by turning down the heat you'll also be saving your money.
Invest in a humidifier
A humidifier releases water vapor into the air to help decrease dry air. The Huffington Post reports, " When used correctly, humidifiers can help to alleviate dry skin, chapped lips, nose bleeds and other pesky cold-weather conditions." This method is another way to promote the quality of your skin with psoriasis.
Use a heavy moisturizer
You may or may not already be using this tip. But in the colder months, it's especially important to have a heavy creme moisturizer to place on your skin at least twice a day. I usually put mine on after my shower so the water-moisture can be locked in with my cream of choice.
Be selective of the materials you wear
While I love heavy fluffy sweaters and scarfs in colder weather, I have found that certain materials like fleece and wool can make my psoriasis really itch. Although I like to wear these materials in the winter because they keep me warm, I try to create a barrier between them and my skin. I pair these items up with a cotton turtleneck or with a long sleeve cotton shirt underneath my sweater to minimize the possible itch.
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