Surviving the Holidays With Inverse Psoriasis
Surviving the holidays in Florida feels like an entirely different experience than up north. We can barbecue and go swimming during Thanksgiving through New Year’s breaks. There is no walking in a winter wonderland and warming hands by the fire. It also means those living with inverse psoriasis, like me, have very little respite from the heat irritating their skin.
The best weather for my skin
My skin does best in cooler weather. And when it comes to my skin and joints, if there was a psoriatic version of Goldilocks, I think I would fit the bill. The weather can’t be too cold, and it can’t be too warm. It needs to be just right.
I often joke that I live in the land of year-round summer, but I’m not far off. In these parts, winter comes in dribs and drabs. At least that’s been the pattern over the past few years. My inverse psoriasis is impacted especially harshly by our year-round very-warm weather. My joints and 85% of my skin enjoy cooler weather. But when it comes to having to wear sleeves for an extended time, the skin under my arms gets angry. It’s a constant juggling act.
However, for every con I throw out, I like to throw in a pro. My pro to celebrating the holidays in the land of year-round summer — sleeveless holiday attire without freezing! Woohoo! That being said, here are a few helpful tips for surviving the holidays with inverse psoriasis.
Surviving the ugly sweater and other holiday attire
Dressing for holiday gatherings tends to be a tad difficult. Often times there is a theme attached to the party like formal attire or something fun like ugly sweaters. While ugly sweaters might be fun, wearing a sweater inside of someone’s temperature controlled home can be particularly irritating to your skin. Well, at least mine.
So, one way to participate in the party, while not encouraging your skin to retaliate is to DIY (do it yourself). Ugly sweaters are now easy to find at most big-box stores. But there is something fun about making your own. But who says it needs to be a sweater? Why not make it a T-shirt, or a tank top? Just remember to bring a cardigan or zip up jacket, if you need a light added layer of coverage for your arms.
Surviving holiday food and drink
Another thing to consider about holiday parties is if you have a trigger food(s). While I haven’t found a particular food that triggers my skin and joint eruptions, there are others with this problem. For example, sugar and dairy are known inflammatory foods. For some people, these foods can trigger issues with their health conditions.
What you can do is offer to bring a platter. Parties are social environments, eating and drinking are natural components. Bringing a platter allows you to provide yourself something delicious to eat while doing the same for others. It also helps alleviate urges from eating something else you shouldn’t.
When it comes to social drinking, you shouldn’t have to feel pressured to drink alcohol because others are. Due to some medications for inflammatory diseases like psoriasis, IBD, and psoriatic arthritis, drinking alcohol may be ill-advised. Or you just may not want to drink, but others are. Don’t fret, for you have options!
You can bring your own drink and make a mocktail like a cranberry spritzer. Basically, you take a juice and combine it with club soda or sparkling water. This particular one is a good mimic of a cape cod, if you keep the bubble action to a minimum. If hydration is an issue for you, especially when it’s hot out, you can cut an electrolyte drink with bubbly water. Mocktails are pretty popular these days. So, be prepared to share once others catch on. If you do want to partake in an adult beverage but want to cut down on the amount of alcohol or sugar, consider adding sparkling water or club soda to a glass of wine. You can also do the same with adding the bubbly water of your preference to a splash of vodka or rum. Then add a few pieces of fruit to top it off.
Surviving holiday wear and tear
When invited over to holiday gathering, I don’t always bring my bag inside. I may stow it in my car’s trunk. But my bag is always close enough in case of an emergency. In the bag, I keep a little emergency kit for when my skin starts to get unruly. All it takes for me is a few mindless seconds-too-long of scratching and it’s like I’ve awakened the dragon. This is especially the case under my left arm.
I like to keep a travel pack of unscented baby wipes in the bag. They are mild on my skin, and great for when psoriasis decides to say hello. I also keep a small tube of healing ointment in my bag. It’s great for when a plaque cracks or a line along my inverse areas gets super irritated. Or worse.
Surviving and thriving with inverse psoriasis during the holidays
My overall health is in a far better place than they were a few years ago. That includes my skin. However, the holidays and potential for parties always bring about a little anxiety. My last words of advice on the matter are to learn to conserve energy. This also includes knowing when to say, “No.” We can’t please everyone, and that sometimes means declining invites.
The one thing we can and have to do is take care of ourselves.
Have you ever said no to the holidays because your body just wasn’t having it?