An arm giving a thumbs up with an ice cube frozen around it.

Keeping Cool with Psoriatic Disease

Do you have trouble staying cool when it is hot outside? I sure do. Psoriasis affects my ability to stay cool. Biologically, humans have a predictable response to the environment, but those of us that have Pso and PsA are “NOT” alike. 

A perfect example of this is finding a lotion that hydrates your skin and sharing with another person about it only for them to say it did not help them. It has to do with genetics.

When I try biologic drugs, there are different medications that may or may not help depending on what cells are being targeted. Certain biologic's target IL-17 or IL-23. I think that this changes our responses from everything to do with prescription medications to over the counter medications.

Heat experiences with PsA and Pso

One of the things that I have an issue with is how to treat my conditions. My PsA likes warmth to ease my joints. My Pso dislikes this greatly. The warmer my water, the drier I am. I also have learned that I get angry red Pso from covering up my affected areas. It seems as the more heat involved, the angrier my skin is.

Products for bathing and moisturing

When I bathe or shower, I have found that I need to use shampoos and conditioners without sulfites. I have a legitimate sulfa allergy. This means no meds that contain it or creams. The doctor tested me and it is best if I avoid it.

I like to use Coconut and Shea body lotions and shower creams. My skin tends to not flake nearly as bad as using straight soaps. My dermatologist agreed with what I was using saying that cleansers that are not harsh help tremendously.

Overheating and trying to stay cool when sleeping

Another problem that occurs for me is overheating when I sleep. Blankets are necessary to make me feel safe at night and comfortable. I find that my skin seemed to get secondary yeast infections from heat staying trapped.

The next thing is to turn to the internet to find out about anything to help with staying cool when you sleep. I found out there are cooling sheets. The price was a bit steep, but saving up for the sheets made sense if it meant comfort. Better sleep. Amazingly, this has worked so much for me!

I lay on a cool sheet and cover up with one. The first thing I noticed after using these sheets was that I was not picking at my self in my sleep. Secondly, my sheets were not bloody! For me, this is a success.

Preparing for the warmer weather

Now that the weather in Illinois is getting warmer, I must do things to keep cool. The most important thing that I do is to carry water with me. My body dehydrates at every opportunity in the heat.

People do not realize that a cold bottle of water can save you not just by drinking it but by first aid uses as you are overheating. Here is the trick I learned from a first aid paramedic.

Take a cold bottle of water and put it between your legs as close to your core as you can. This will immediately help lower your body temperature.

Also, if you can go into a cooling center or bathroom get a towel and wet your wrists, neck, inner elbow crease, knee crease, and ankles. These places will help you cool off as well. Do not dry the areas. When I do this, it keeps me from passing out.

Please be safe and smart when in heat. Remember to keep cool! Be well!

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