The Woes of Winter With Psoriasis

In an effort to begin on a positive note, I feel that I must state my love for freshly fallen snow and hot chocolate, Christmas trees, outdoor holiday markets, and tobogganing. Now that we have that aside, winter totally blows when you have psoriasis.

The struggles of winter with psoriasis

If it’s getting cold where you are, you have my sympathies (and you might have a laugh at my article about my Canadian winters).

Here is a list of my winter woes.

The sun hibernates while my psoriasis skin suffers

The sun packs its bags and moves south. I didn’t major in astronomy, but it’s something like that. You’re lucky to get even a few days of sunshine, and even when the sun is out there’s no way you’re going to strip for a tan.

In the summertime, I rely on a few minutes each day in the sun for those UV rays to do their magic. I’m high on vitamin D and my skin is much happier. The dreary overcast sky during the winter is a real bummer for me and my skin.

Wool makes psoriasis symptoms worse

I mean, have I ever enjoyed winter fashion? Wool sweaters are torture containers. How do sheep wear it every day? The thought of wool against my skin is true horror. Then to come inside and sweat in it? Hard pass.

It doesn’t stop at itchy sweaters though. Mittens, hats, and scarves are all made of wool or something only slightly less terrible like polyester. It leaves me scratching at my forehead and wrists all day. Wool socks? Heinous.

The dry cold air on my psoriasis skin

If I could spend all day moisturizing in the winter, I would. As it is, I have to go outside and be an adult. My skin is super dry and super itchy for most of the winter. Without fail, I get itchy bumps all over my hands, and psoriasis on my arms and legs cracks and itches too.

I avoid the gym because the thought of stretching the skin on my stomach or back seems horrible. Resting my elbows on the table is painful. I’m sure you’re right there with me!

If you also have psoriatic arthritis…

Well, you'll need a separate list entirely! I’ve never been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, I’ve just been told I have “super stiff joints” and that my plantar fasciitis is unrelated. That the pain in my knees and fingers is from hypermobility. Okay. Whatever you say.

Point being, I can see at least the surface of the struggle. No winter boots fit my orthotics. Winter sports would break me. My body seizes up like the tin man and I swear I can almost hear my knees squeal and shatter as I go down the stairs. Anything that requires grip strength, like shoveling or carrying grocery bags, leaves me with what my husband likes to call “the claw.” Basically, I’d like to spend every day on the couch wrapped in a giant heating pad.

Psoriasis wishes for your winter

At least being amid winter means we have summer to look forward to! My hope for you is a mild winter with lots of cozy fires and holiday baking.

Until summer comes again, may your humidifiers be full, your coconut oil on sale, and your Netflix queues be full.

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