One to three percent of Americans are affected by psoriasis. It is an autoimmune disease that manifests as a skin disorder. Even though it affects the skin, it starts in the immune system. When a type of white blood cell mistakenly become active, they set off immune responses that lead to the symptoms of psoriasis.
When the warm, humid weather fades and the cool, dryer winds blow, most people with psoriasis experience flare-ups, and the disorder worsens.
This may result in the development of dry, itchy, scaly red patches. When the humidity drops, the skin cannot retain moisture as well, and tiny fissures or cracks begin to occur.
Some tips for preventing flare-ups during the winter are:
• Start by using a good moisturizer. This will help stop small cracks from forming and help the dry patches feel and look better. Our experts at SeaMist MedSpa can recommend the best moisturizer for your skin. There are also topical applications that you can apply to your skin before you apply the moisturizer. These will help the moisturizer penetrate deeper into your skin. It is important to use bath oil. This will help reduce symptoms in any weather, but especially when the weather turns cold and dry. It is recommended to use a lot of moisturizer, especially after bathing, and rub it into your skin.
• Stress is another reason for psoriasis flare-ups, and there are often more reasons for stress during the fall and winter seasons. For example, school starts in the fall and this may be stressful for students and parents. Also, the holiday season is another stressful time of the year and it also happens in winter. Flare-ups from stress can be prevented if you start some relaxing activities when fall starts. Our trained technicians can help you select the best stress-reducer for your lifestyle. Meditation is one method, and another is guided imagery. Studies at McGill University in Quebec showed that patients who combined guided imagery with UV light therapy had faster remission than those who only had UV therapy.
• Other things that may help you relax are quietly reading a novel, listening to your favorite music, meditative yoga, and vigorous exercise. These things work best when combined with medical therapy.
• While it is still debatable whether diet helps the symptoms of psoriasis, most doctors agree that drinking alcohol aggravates it. It is recommended not to overindulge during the fall and winter seasons.
• Winter often means less sunshine. While too much sun exposure is harmful for psoriasis, 15 to 20 minutes of exposure each day is beneficial. If at all possible, you should try to spend a little time each day outdoors in the sunlight.
With a little care when the weather turns cold, you can keep your psoriasis under control and avoid painful flare-ups. At SeaMist MedSpa in South Kingstown, we will help you find the right options for your lifestyle.
Contact our office today to schedule your appointment to learn more about psoriasis prevention and treatment options.