Community Views: Favorite Sunscreen
In most parts of the world, the summer months mean sunshine and warmer weather. Backyard barbeques, trips to the beach, and time in the garden are on the itinerary. But psoriasis can derail the fun before it begins.
Psoriasis skin in the summer
Many of the regions where psoriasis occurs, such as the scalp, elbows and knees, face, hands, feet, and nails, are more visible in the summer. Short sleeves, shorts, and sandals expose more areas of skin.1
Curious about how you handle the summer and protect your skin from the sun, we recently asked the Facebook community, “What is your favorite sunscreen product that doesn’t irritate your psoriasis skin?”
During the summer months, psoriasis symptoms improve for many people. The sun is an excellent source of natural UV radiation.2 UV radiation naturally suppresses the immune system, lessening psoriasis patches. Time in the sun shows reductions in inflammation markers.3
The danger is sunburn. While sunshine can help improve psoriasis, sunburn can make it worse. Having good sunscreen and covering all exposed body parts, including psoriasis patches, is vital.4 Products you find most helpful are:
- “Australian Gold. It actually helps!”
- “iS clinical sunscreen.”
- “Coppertone or Neutrogena.”
- “CeraVe 50 SPF works awesome.”
- “Aveeno sunscreen.”
It is essential to determine your body’s sun sensitivity and choose sunscreen accordingly. Certain skin types burn easier than others.5Lightweight clothing that covers more skin along with hats and sunglasses can defend against sunburn.4,5
Also, certain drugs can increase sun sensitivity.5 As summer arrives, review your treatments and their side effects with your doctor.
A day at the beach
You can still enjoy trips to the beach with psoriasis. Swimming in saltwater can help remove the dead, flaky skin of psoriasis patches. This improves how they look and how you feel. Following a swim, you must rinse off and moisturize. Saltwater dries out the skin, which can make psoriasis worse.
Some sun is good for psoriasis, but too much sun can be a disaster. Beach shelters such as umbrellas or tents help limit sun exposure. Be sure to reapply your favorite sunscreen several times throughout the day. Keep your hat and sunglasses on and cover up with light clothing when out of the water.4,5
Psoriasis is a visible disease. Living with the scaly, red patches can create feelings of self-consciousness. You may resist joining in summer activities because of how your skin looks. If you are struggling to engage in summer fun with friends and family, talk to your doctor. Resources such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), prescription drugs, and support groups offer tools to manage the emotional impact of this disease.6
No matter the season, it’s important to stick to your medication regimen, including any topical or oral therapies designed to slow skin-cell formation, boost your immune system, or control your psoriasis symptoms, like itching. Some psoriasis medications can increase your skin’s sensitivity, so talk to your doctor to make sure your medication regimen is summer-ready.
We appreciate everyone who contributed to the conversation. We hope you find ways of enjoying the summer!
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