How to Prepare for a Flare-Free Autumn
Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year. There's a bush near my house whose leaves turn such an arresting shade of red. I pull over almost every time I drive past it. Autumn and Winter are also times that psoriasis tends to gets drier, crackier and flakier.
Here are a few of the strategies I implement as soon as the leaves and my skin start to turn.
Moisturizers for psoriasis
As the weather gets colder, the air gets drier, and this can dry out our skin. This is made worse by central heating which is mostly dry heat. I know already that my facial moisturizer needs to be changed as I have dry patches of skin appearing along my jawline. So I am looking for thicker face creams containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerine.
I also like to have a balm on hand. While I'm not a fan of petroleum-based products they are a very effective barrier ingredient for locking moisture in. Squalene is my current favorite non-petroleum-based ingredient, but petroleum-based vaseline is always in my winter purse for emergency repairs when I'm on the go (or going to sleep).
The water-based moisturizers of summer are out and body butter is in for my arms, legs, and torso. I love products that contain emollient ingredients naturally like shea butter. They are oilier but so much better at keeping the skin supple and crack free in the Winter.
A diet for the seasons
Autumn and Winter are times for slowing down and inner reflection. As the youthful energy of summer starts to wane and recess, so makes my approach to eating. I phase out the light, zingy salads, and replace them with the nurturing foods of the season.
Slow cooking stews and hearty casseroles dominate my autumn-winter menu, and this can be great for those of us who are concerned about gut issues. These foods are broken down into easier to digest forms as they cook slowly which can help us obtain more nutrition and give our digestive systems the time they need to heal.
Plus winter foods often include collagen-rich broths which are great for gut and skin health.
Time to be intentional
The children are back at school after two months of active play. I can sit down and reflect on what I want to do with my time. What did I notice taking time out to play over the summer? What went wrong and what went right this year so far?
I am journaling more, and as I reflect on our family's changing dynamic, I declutter the house of the summer items and resurrect stored away favorites in preparation for more calm and introverted living.
I try to prevent getting ill. I try to go outside and get natural sunlight while it is here. I try to remember to take a vitamin D supplement, as where I live the wavelength of light in the Winter is not suitable for making enough vitamin D for my requirements
Avoid the stress flare cycle
In previous years, my goals were outrageous - like to learn Spanish. I have now discovered this adds to my stress levels, not reduce them. My goal for this winter season is to learn to bake confidently. To understand how to make a loaf of bread with my hands and how to play with that dough to make it into other things without needing a recipe.
Maybe the key here is that the learning needs to be fun. Your fun - not the fun everyone expects you to have through the festive period.
What changes do you make to help your skin as we move towards Winter?
Does your psoriasis skin feel out of control? How are you managing?