Winter with Psoriasis – Plan Ahead
It is getting colder in many parts of the country and it is clear that winter is around the corner. While it is hard to ignore that winter is on its way, I begin thinking and preparing for winter in the early fall. Is that too early to begin thinking about winter? The short answer is no. I have planned ahead for years. Trust me, it helps in the long run. It is no secret that some seasons are worse than others for people with psoriasis. Winter can be like that movie “The Perfect Storm,” where various elements come together at the same time, creating what can feel like a catastrophe.
Careful planning and precautions can help you navigate some of the seasonal issues associated with winter. Why is winter so harsh on psoriasis sufferers? The dry, cold air can wreak havoc on your skin. Skin can get chapped from the cold winds outside and inside under the heated air, it can suck the moisture out of the room just trying to warm up.
Another issue is less exposure to the sun. The sun is our best ally against psoriasis and the natural UV rays the sun gives off is a wonderful natural treatment. This is less available to us during the winter. One of the biggest issues we deal with during winter is the cold and flu season. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder and battling another illness, such as a cold or flu can lead to a major flare-up. End of year stress is another big problem with people suffering from psoriasis. The holidays, parties, travel and financial constraints can really create stress if you allow it to.
Make a schedule
So, how can I plan ahead and what precautions should I be taking now? Time is on your side when you plan ahead. If you’re one of those people who love celebrating and decorating for the holidays, then start planning early. Create a calendar of events and start filling it in with things you need to plan and prepare for. If you have tons of Christmas shopping or holiday shopping to do, start early and break up the costs. You don’t need to pile on all the expenses for the last few months and then stress about money. Get your menus, to do lists and holiday travel plans organized. If you are attending parties, create a system to keep track of all your obligations and don’t be afraid to say “no” if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Handling dry skin
For the dry air invest in a good, quality humidifier for your rooms to help keep your skin moist. Keep plenty of moisturizers handy, especially when you get out of the shower. Coconut oil is amazing to lather on right after your shower. Remember hot water dries out the skin so take appropriate measures to get that moisture back in your skin. Apply lotion throughout the day during the winter and make sure you get a lotion that works best during the harsher months.
Now you need to keep your immune system strong throughout the season. Be sure to frequently wash your hands with soap (remember to apply lotion after) this will help fight off germs you may encounter. Be sure to get plenty of rest. Our immune systems get weak when we don’t get enough rest or battle fatigue. Take herbs, vitamins, enzymes or anything else proven to help you stay well. Also in the colder months, you may want to bundle up but be careful not to wear clothing that will make your psoriasis itch. Some sweaters contain wool and other materials that will make your skin feel scratchy. You do not want to scratch your skin. As for lack of sunlight many people opt for phototherapy. It is said that phototherapy can compensate for the lack of UV rays.
Getting a head start on one of the most hectic seasons of the year, will help you to avoid tons of stress and potential flares. It will also allow you to enjoy the holidays more. Make it easy on yourself plan ahead, be prepared and give yourself that extra time you’ll need to relax and cozy up to winter. I am.
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