Tips for managing psoriasis in winter

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Psoriasis, a non-contagious skin disorder, results in red, scaly patches on the skin. These patches can appear on any part of the skin, especially on the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp. At times, people who have psoriasis notice seasonal changes that severe their condition, resulting in a worsening of symptoms during the winter season. The cold months with their dry air, cold temperature, reduced exposure to sunlight, and inadequate hydration can contribute to a flare-up. Although there is no cure as yet, you can follow some tips if you have psoriasis to help you manage it in the winter season.

Moisturize your skin:
Keeping your skin moisturized as a part of vital psoriasis prevention measure. Dry skin triggers psoriasis flares, resulting in severe scaling and causing the skin to crack and bleed. Moisturizers containing mineral oils are more suitable for the effective management of psoriasis. You can also go for coconut oil and aloe vera gel as they have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Moisturize your scalp:
If you have psoriasis on your scalp, prevent flares by moisturizing the skin on this part of the body. Tar shampoos and salicylic acid helps in managing scalp psoriasis.

Use a humidifier:
To wake up with smooth skin without flares, use a humidifier to keep indoor air moist. Run it in your bedroom at night to overcome the drying effects of indoor heating. Remember, clean your humidifier once a while to avoid a buildup of bacteria.

Get exposed to sunlight:
Ultraviolet rays of the sun have immunosuppressive effects. It reduces the symptoms of autoimmune conditions, such as psoriasis. Exposure to short, regular intervals of sun aids in psoriasis prevention. Also, UV light therapy is a better treatment option.

Avoid sunburn:
Warmer, humid conditions and sunlight are suggested to improve psoriasis, but this does not mean that spending long periods in the sun is suitable for the skin condition, especially when you have psoriasis. Skin damage, such as sunburn can cause psoriasis flares. Prevent such flares by wearing sunscreen and limiting your exposure to the sun.

Drink water:
To pump up the moisture levels of your body, drink plenty of water. You will know if you are taking enough water if your urine is pale yellow. If your urine is bright yellow or dark-coloured, it indicates that your body needs more water.

Reduce stress:
Stress is a potential trigger for people with psoriasis. The winter holidays are full of cheer, but also bring in stress. Just relax and ease your stress. Try practising yoga, meditation, or mindfulness. Also, exercising relieves stress, reducing flare-ups.

Improve your treatment plan:
If your psoriasis gets worse in winter, consult your doctor. You may need to avoid/adjust your medications a little or get some light therapy. With these tips in mind, you could enjoy the winter season like your fellow human beings.