How to Handle Psoriasis This Winter

Man with psoriasis on his arm How to Handle Psoriasis This Winter

For so many people, winter translates to dry, itchy, irritated skin. And if you already suffer from psoriasis, your symptoms might only get worse during the colder weather. Why is this, though? And what can be done to mitigate your psoriasis this winter? Let’s discuss these matters so you have one less thing to worry about during the upcoming cold season.

What to Know About Treating Psoriasis

Why Do Psoriasis Symptoms Worsen in Winter?

With winter comes a trifecta of circumstances that tend to dry out your skin and trigger certain responses such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne flareups. These three culprits are as follows: 1) colder, drier air, 2) less sunlight, and 3) indoor heating. Simply put, the air during winter is less humid than during other seasons. And because temperatures are typically low during the winter, people tend to flock indoors and warm up with heating systems. As a result, both the outdoor and indoor air lacks moisture and actually extracts moisture from your skin, drying it out. On top of that, the shorter days and tendency to stay inside deprives your skin of sunlight, which in proper doses is good for the skin and slows down the growth of skin cells (and therefore mitigates psoriasis flareups).

When all of these forces combine, your skin is at its most vulnerable for undergoing psoriasis symptoms and signs, along with other skin problems. So, with the odds stacked against you, what can be done to level the playing field? As it turns out, quite a bit.

Mitigating Your Psoriasis During Winter

The best way to fight back against psoriasis and other skin issues exacerbated by winter’s wrath is to audit your lifestyle and make simple yet significant changes. The following tips are aimed at promoting your skin’s health and overall health:

  • Moisturize your skin regularly to combat the dry air and its negative effects on your skin
  • Install humidifiers in your home to release water vapor back into the air surrounding you
  • Avoid taking long, hot showers and baths, both of which can reduce your skin’s natural moisture levels
  • Stay warm with soft, light layers that are easy to remove so you don’t overheat
  • Get plenty of sleep (7-9 hours a night) to boost immune function
  • Stay hydrated
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet
  • Reduce stress levels (i.e. meditation, yoga, exercise, enjoying hobbies, etc.)

While none of the above adjustments are guaranteed to prevent psoriasis symptoms from arising, they can help keep mild psoriasis flareups from developing into more severe outbreaks.

Treating Your Psoriasis Directly

If you want to target your psoriasis symptoms more directly this winter, seek advice from a dermatologist. Your doctor can help you find the best psoriasis treatment for you, taking into account your medical history, skin type, lifestyle, and more. These treatment options for psoriasis include:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Calcineurin Inhibitors
  • Anthralin
  • Prescription Moisturizers
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Retinoids
  • Biologics
  • Methotrexate
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Phototherapy/Light therapy (UVB radiation)

Winter is difficult to endure for many reasons -- don’t let your psoriasis weigh you down any further. The experts at Premier Dermatology Partners are here to help you stave off your worst psoriasis symptoms during the cold season and beyond. To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.

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