Finding Psoriasis Relief: The Weather Outside Is Frightful
Although you cannot escape the winter by hibernating like a grizzly bear, you can stay warm without making your psoriasis flare-up. It is important to pay attention to what your body is telling you and make sure to follow through with your psoriasis treatment.
While winter can be challenging for people living with psoriasis, within this article we have included many ways to cope with the season. We have even included a fun winter coloring page that we hope decreases stress and boosts creativity!
Why does psoriasis worsen in the winter?
It is the most wonderful time of the year — or is it? The winter months can be anything but wonderful for people with moderate to severe psoriasis.
Dry air: The lack of humidity in the air outside and the dry heat in most buildings during the colder months can rob your skin of the moisture it needs. Humidifiers at home and at work can help ease this discomfort.
Less sunlight: Not only are the winter days shorter, but most people also tend to spend less time outside. And when they do brave the elements, they are usually bundled up from head to toe. UV therapy may be a good option to find relief in the colder months.
Risk of illness: If you suffer from psoriasis, an infection by bacteria and viruses can cause symptoms to flare. Strive to keep yourself healthy by eating a balanced diet, getting regular physical activity, getting enough rest, and keeping stress levels under control.
Holiday stress: Stress is a known psoriasis trigger, and some people find the holidays very stressful. Try to counter the stress with relaxation techniques to keep yourself calm. Follow as healthy a lifestyle as possible. It is the best present you can give to yourself.
How to moisturize those winter flares
The thicker the cream or ointment, the better it is at locking water into your skin. Use moisturizing soap and a creamy lotion after you shower, bathe, and wash your hands. Choose fragrance-free products to avoid allergic reactions.
If you are looking for some guidance on finding the right moisturizer, then look no further. Below are a few articles that can help:
Finding the right warm and itch-free clothing
When going out, protect exposed areas of skin. Consider dressing in layers made from natural plant fibers, such as cotton, to keep you warm and comfortable. Dressing in layers can help avoid getting too hot, as sweating can make psoriasis worse.
If you suffer from scalp psoriasis and find that flaking is a problem, choose lighter-colored clothes and hats to hide dandruff. Finding comfortable gloves or mittens can help with breakouts on your hands, and moisturizing before you put gloves on can also help with dry, cracked skin.
How to stay healthy
Scaling back your stress, staying active, eating a balanced diet, and paying attention to your mental health are just a few ways to get yourself through the winter months without a flare.
Our advocates have shared their own tips and resources for staying healthy and living with psoriasis. Gemma shares How to Avoid Being Ill. Ryan provides insight into Habits for a Healthy Self (Without Exercise), and Diane shares her own experiences with Mental Health and Psoriasis.
Winter tips from the community
We asked our Facebook and Instagram community "What are your tips for managing psoriasis in the winter months?" and they did not disappoint! We included a few key tips below:
- Lots of oils and lotions
- Stay hydrated and moisturize the skin
- Coconut, tea tree, and grape seed oil
- Drink a lot of water and tea. Stay hydrated.
Coloring and self-care
There is no right way to practice self-care. It looks different for all of us – ultimately, good self-care consists of whatever helps you feel cared for. Along with providing a much-needed break and the chance to relax and refocus, we hope this coloring page can help lift your mood, decrease stress, and boost creativity. Simply click the button below!
If you choose to print and participate in our coloring page, we encourage you to share your finished work of art by sharing a photo on our Facebook page and tagging us on Instagram (@psoriasis_hu)! Winter is a trying time for those living with psoriasis, but do not let the season get the best of you.
Where on your body does psoriasis bother you the most?