A woman wearing a large floppy hat sitting in the sun.

Suns Out, Psoriasis Plaques Gone

As May came to an end, the cool days and lower temperatures have vanished. The sun is more prevalent now and the temperature here in Georgia is a lot hotter. Living with psoriasis for eleven years, I’ve learned just how much my skin really appreciates the transition.

With summer sun, comes psoriasis remission

It’s almost like the sun is a natural medicine for my psoriasis. The UVB rays emitted from the sun can slow the rapid growth of the skin cells of those living with psoriasis.

For many people including myself, this helps ease inflammation. I see a difference in my skin during the summertime compared to the winter months. My plaques don't magically disappear, but I definitely see some tremendous changes.

For one, my skin is not as dry in the summertime. As I am out during the summer, naturally, I sweat more than I did when it was cooler outside. As a result, my skin stays moist longer and my psoriasis plaques aren't as rough. For me, this helps with the appearance of my plaques as they don't look as cracked and dry which I prefer.

The summer benefit of clearer skin

In the summer I like to wear shorts and skirts sometimes. It is not always easy because I am nervous when I allow my psoriasis to show in these types of clothing. I am often fearful that people may stare at my skin or ask questions.

When I do build up enough confidence however, I may wear my shorts, skirts, or even a dress with spaghetti straps. Not only does this help me feel more confident but it allows my skin to breathe and be exposed to the sun.

I notice my plaques clear up a lot when I allow my skin to get some sunlight. I really enjoy this! There’s nothing like going to the beach and feeling confident enough to show my skin.

Balancing sun exposure in the summer

Even with the seeming miracle effects that the sun has on my skin, I am still very careful about how much sun I get. Too much UVB exposure can cause skin cancer and it is extremely important not to overexpose yourself to sun rays.

To make sure I don't overexpose, I limit my sun exposure to about 5-10 minutes at a time. I also check in with my dermatologist to see just how much time I should spend in the sun for my skin type, as some skin types may burn faster than others. I use sunscreen as well if I know I will be out in the sun for an extended period of time.

The constant change of psoriasis skin

During the summer, just like during the winter, I still give my skin a lot of attention. After a shower or bath, I moisturize from head to toe. I typically use a thicker moisturizer during the winter like cocoa butter.

In the summer, I notice that I can get away with using a lighter moisturizer with SPF. I also find that I don't have to reapply my moisturizer as often throughout the day in the summer. Overall, I love the effects that the summer months have on my psoriasis.

It’s like a mini-break from some of the stressors of the disease. Each year, I look forward to the summertime and the relief that it brings. I am especially happy now as summer is right around the corner!

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