Our top tips for managing psoriasis this winter.
Many people with psoriasis note that their symptoms are affected
by weather change, with some experiencing worsening symptoms during the colder
months. This is likely caused by lower levels of sunlight and the combination
of colder and drier air. So, we thought we would revisit our top tips for taking care of your psoriasis this winter.
The golden rule of caring for psoriasis is to moisturise,
and this is even more important when trying to combat the effects of the cold
weather. Apply generous amounts of moisturiser often to help reduce itching and
redness, and make sure you use fragrance free products to avoid skin
irritation. You may also want to consider switching to a thicker emollient or
ointment for a while, which can lock in moisture for longer. You can find more information on emollients here.
Shower in warm water rather than hot, as hot
water can dry out the skin and may irritate your psoriasis further. It may also
help to swap to emollient wash products rather than soaps, as these are more
moisturising and would likely be fragrance free.
Wear soft materials such as cotton or silk that will
not rub or cause skin irritation. If you want to wear wool or knitted jumpers
make sure you have a comfortable, soft layer between the wool and your skin.
Drink plenty of water. Your body needs water to
stay healthy and keep the skin hydrated and this is just as important during
the winter as it is in hot weather.
The drying effects of central heating can be
unpleasant for psoriasis, so you may find it helps to have a humidifier in the
bedroom while you sleep to add moisture back into the air.
If you are on an immunosuppressive treatment for
psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, you should ask your GP about an NHS flu jab.
More details are provided in the following information sheet from the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD).
The resource covers various immunisations (vaccinations) that may affect you
when you are taking medicines that act by suppressing the immune system.
Information about the flu jab specifically can be found on pages 3 and 4 of the
Finally, if your psoriasis gets considerably
worse during the winter and you are finding it difficult to manage, then you
should talk to your doctor as you may be able to come up with a more effective
treatment plan to control your psoriasis. This may include upping medication
doses, or moving you onto a slightly stronger treatment for a little while. You can see more information on treatments available for psoriasis here.
Please remember that while it may be
tempting to use sunbeds for your psoriasis during winter, there are some
important things to remember. It’s important to be aware that sunbeds are
NOT the same as UV light therapy given in a hospital. Hospital-based UV treatment uses only the specific part of the spectrum that
is useful to treat psoriasis, whereas many sunbeds use mostly, or entirely, UVA
light which is ineffective for treating psoriasis on its own. Using sunbeds
means taking on the significant risks that come with UV exposure, without much
of the benefit to psoriasis.
If you would like any further
information, advice or support regarding psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis this
winter, please contact our helpline, either by phone on 01604 251 620, email on email@example.com or WhatsApp 07387 716 439.