Keeping the snow outside during the winter is an ongoing battle when you live with psoriasis! In an epidemiological study by Islam et al (2011), 47.1% of people with psoriasis reported a deterioration in symptoms during winter . This is due to factors such as colder temperatures, lower humidity, drier and heated indoor air, shorter days, less sun exposure, more illness, and stress.
Read our 11 tips for preventing and managing flare-ups this winter:
- Adhere to your treatment regime. Now is the time to show your skin some TLC and follow your treatment plan to a T. Any slip-ups could risk bad flare-ups.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Make use of a thick moisturizer and apply liberally and frequently.
- Use a humidifier. Dry indoor heating can worsen symptoms such as itching and flaking. Keep the air moist and your skin hydrated!
- Limit your time in the cold. Cold, dry, wintery air strips moisture from your skin. Lather up with a good moisturizer!
- Take short showers/baths. Long, hot showers or baths strip the natural oils from your skin. Reduce the water temperature and limit your showers to 5 and bathing to 15 mins.
- Avoid certain fabrics.‘Wool’ is itchy. Synthetic fabrics, nylon and polyester can make you sweat and irritate your skin. Layer up with fabrics containing natural plant fibers such as cotton and silk.
- Find ways to boost your immune system. Exercise regularly, enjoy a balanced diet, get your shots, and practice good hygiene. Staying healthy and well can greatly reduce the occurrence of flare-ups.
- Control your alcohol consumption. At this time of year, steering clear of alcohol may seem almost impossible, however excessive alcohol consumption could lead to a nasty flare-up. Enjoy in moderation.
- Find ways to de-stress. Stress is one of the most common triggers for psoriasis flare-ups. Flare-ups lead to more stress… it’s a never-ending cycle. With so many things going on, it may be difficult to find time to look after yourself. Try yoga, meditation, or mindfulness. If that’s not your style- go for a walk, listen to music or talk to someone about it. Most importantly- be kind to yourself!
- Talk to your doctor/specialist about your flare-ups. If you are really worried about your skin, or feel your treatment plan is not working, discuss this with your treating doctor. Your skin is important and so are you!
- Remind yourself that flare-ups will happen. You can’t always prevent them and you won’t always know why they happen. Don’t be so hard on yourself!
Disclaimer: This site does not provide medical advice. The author of this blog is not a medical professional. This blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease of medical condition. Patients should not use the information contained in this blog to self-diagnose or self-treat any health-related condition. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read in this blog. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative, or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional. Information is gathered and shared from reputable sources; however, Abundant Natural Health is not responsible for errors or omissions in reporting or explanation.
- Islam, M. T., Paul, H. K., Zakaria, S. M., Islam, M. M., & Shafiquzzaman, M. (2011). Epidemiological determinants of psoriasis. Mymensingh medical journal: MMJ, 20(1), 9. Google Scholar