A man sitting under an umbrella in beachwear holding a bottle of water.

Summer Sun and Psoriasis

Hello, sunshine! The cold winter has subsided. The ice has melted and the spring flowers have shown up. Bringing hope and the promise of new life. For some of us, it also brings the hope of sunshine to help clear up our psoriasis.

Potent summer sun

You will do well to remember that your skin has been in hibernation. During the colder months, it was lucky if it saw any sun at all. To avoid burning, easing your way into sun exposure is probably best. Summer sun rays are so much more potent than winter rays. 

The most potent time of day is from 10 am and 4 pm. I use 12 pm – 3 pm as a hot zone. This is the time when I need to be most careful in the sun.

Sun Screen

I live in Africa. Sunscreen is just something that goes hand in hand with the word summer. When I think of summer, I can smell the sunscreen. Having psoriasis is no excuse to stop using sunscreen. Choosing a 50 SPF or up is my default. I do go for sunscreens that are not too thick. The thick ones make me itch in the heat of summer. 

I recommend going fragrance-free and finding ones that are easy to apply. I enjoy the spray-on ones. It is so important to protect your skin, even when you need the sun to help heal psoriasis symptoms.

Sunburn

Did you stay out in the sun too long? Did you not check the time, or did you disregard the warning of using sunscreen? It doesn't really matter why you got sunburned, you simply did. Now it is time to sort it out and give your skin some much-needed TLC. 

Wetting a soft towel and laying it over the sunburn can really help cool your skin down. Drink loads of water, and head out to the local pharmacy for some after-sun aloe or lotions.

Hydration

Make sure you keep your body and skin hydrated this summer. Drink enough water and follow a healthy diet. This can make the world of difference in how you feel. In the summertime, you will need to moisturize more frequently.

Aiming for twice a day is the go-to in the summertime. On those extra hot days, I will often apply it even more often.

Sun for me, no sun for you

Like everything else, we know well enough by now that what works for one person is not always going to work for another. Not everyone is going to yield results from spending time in the sun. Everyone's skin will react differently.

For instance, when I go into the sun, my skin gets slighting annoyed at first. That night I will have a lukewarm shower and load my skin with moisturizer. The next day my skin will feel right as rain again.

Protect your skin this summer. Make time to relax too. Soak up the joy that comes with summer.

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