Psoriasis is a noncontagious and long-lasting autoimmune disease that causes flaky, red, purple, and crusty patches of skin. This is characterized by raised areas of the abnormal skin. Scratches to the skin can produce a psoriatic skin change at that point, which is called as the Koebner phenomenon.
It is a chronic disease that most often includes periods when you have no signs and symptoms or just mild symptoms, followed by the periods when symptoms are acute. Signs of psoriasis ordinarily worsen during winter and with particular medications, like beta blockers or NSAIDs. Psychological stress and severe infections can also play a role. The underlying process includes the immune system reacting to skin cells. Diagnosis of psoriasis is normally based on its signs and symptoms.
There are five major types of psoriasis including plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular, and erythrodermic.This is probably considered to be a genetic disease that is caused by various environmental factors.
Mostly people are infected only with small patches. Psoriasis is noncontagious but in some cases, the patches may become itchy or sore. Typically, these patches develop on your scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back, but can develop anywhere on your body.
Most often it appears in adults below 35 years old and affects both men and women but it can appear at any age. Psoriasis’s severity varies slightly from person to person. For some people, it may just a minor itchiness, but for others it can greatly disturb their quality of life.
Why psoriasis happens?
People with psoriasis experience increased formation of the skin cells. These cells are usually formed and replaced every 3 to 4 weeks, but in the case of psoriasis cell production mechanism only consumes about 3 to 7 days. The resulting generation of the skin cells is what develops the patches followed with psoriasis.
Even though the process of psoriasis cannot be fully understood, it’s believed to be linked to a problem with the immune system which is your body’s defense against infections and diseases. However, it may attack the normal healthy skin cells by fault in people with psoriasis.
The condition of psoriasis is not contagious, so it cannot be transmitted from person to person.
Why Do Psoriasis typically Flare Up in Winter?
Cold temperature and extremely dry air can cause destruction on the already stressed skin. Low temperatures draw the natural moisture from your skin. Taking hot baths or showers in the winter further saps your skin dry and leads to more aversion since hot water can destroy the outer protective layer of your skin that holds in moisture.
Repeatedly hand washing and applying sanitizer may already straining on your hands this pandemic year, but as level of temperature and moistness drop in winter, other parts of the body can also get flaky, itchy, cracked, and irritated.
Throughout the winter, many people may develop dry skin, those who are going through with psoriasis will have to do more than simply smear on extra lotion and drink more water.
In the winter, you may not get natural exposure to UV light. These rays are mostly decayed at noontime in the winter and fall. This is because you put in so much time indoors or with skin wrapped up with the warm clothes. So, this can also trigger a psoriasis plaques and inflammation.
To help with this, you can contemplate phototherapy, a procedure in which a light box is essentially used to expose your skin to the controlled quantity of UV light to dampen inflammation.
Experts think that UV light retards the rapid growth of skin cells that is feature of psoriasis. So, definitely you may find that your plaques will worsen if you spend less time under the sun.
Tips for Managing Psoriasis in Cold Weather
Winter has set in and you are worried about your psoriasis? Unfortunately, no exact treatment of psoriasis has been identified but you can manage it by adopting a few tips. Now you can keep it in check as winter officially sets in. Following here are some top tips for managing psoriasis in cold weather.
1. Find ways to boost your immune system
Practice good hygiene, exercise regularly, and enjoy a balanced diet. Eating and drinking healthily can greatly reduce the inflammation and appearance of psoriasis flare-ups. Also, during fall and winter holidays, you should avoid over consuming of food and alcohol. Particularly, alcohol not only sometimes is responsible for the worsening of psoriasis but reduces the effectiveness of psoriasis medications as well. Do consult with your healthcare provider before you drink alcoholic beverages while celebrating during winter holidays.
If you want to keep your skin hydrated, you should drink plenty of water. Make sure to check if your urine is bright yellow or dark-colored, you may drink more water as it can make psoriasis more worse. You’ll come to know if you’re drinking enough water because your urine will be pale yellow in color.
2. Use light therapy
If you are going through with psoriasis, your healthcare provider can suggest a UV light therapy treatment during the fall and winter months. This treatment is basically known as light therapy or phototherapy. In its procedure, an ultraviolet light is involved which penetrates the affected area of skin. This can clean up the current symptoms and may prevent future outbursts.
Do not carry out UV phototherapy without your dermatologist consultancy, especially if you’re thinking to perform it at home.
Light therapy is a popular treatment option for you where UV light is available in natural sunlight. Some other types of sunlight therapy may help manage your psoriasis symptoms, but they can pose a greater chance for skin cancer.
3. Make your own hand warmers
Packaged hand warmers are conducive, but not the best option if you have psoriasis.
Air-activated and biodegradable hand warmers run through oxidation. This mechanism specifically pins down the moisture and controls heat when the hand warmers are disclosed to outside air.
Supersaturated solutions include chemical ingredients that blow up the heat. Both of these can be particularly irritating for psoriasis symptoms.
If you’re feeling rustic or just looking for an afternoon assignment, try making your own hand warmers first. Including lavender is a sweet-smelling addition, typically because essential oils can also treat psoriasis symptoms.
4. Warm up with soup
When you were a kid, a floating bowl of hot and sour soup was probably a chilling moment after a day spent outdoor while playing in the snow. You can continue this childhood soothing by taking more warm soups including vegetable soup, chili soup, corn soup, sesame soup, and chicken egg soup.
Soups are primarily liquid food, normally taken warm or hot and are made by combination of the ingredients of meat or vegetables with stock, milk, or water. They are another way to keep you warm. Soups during winter also provide soothing effects. You have to ensure checking your caffeine intake as this stimulant may be a severe flare-up for your psoriasis.
5. Choose soothing baths over hot showers
Long and hot showers can draw moisture from your skin. When you take a shower, make sure to use warm water only. Lower the temperature of water and limit your time to 5 and bathing to 15 minutes only.
Taking a bath can be more soothing and relaxing. You can smear finely grounded oatmeal, Dead Sea salts, Epsom salts, and natural oil in a warm bath. Then, soak for almost 15 minutes to remove the dead scales and patches. It will soothe itching and burning. Apply a moisturizing cream or lotion to lock water in.
6. Use a Moisturizer
It is crucial to keep your skin moist in winter. In order to get rid of cracked skin, itchiness, redness, and several psoriasis patches. Apply thicker moisturizers to help lock moisture into your skin. Refrigerate lotions before applying them onto your skin, so they’ll remain cold and can calm burning and itching. Make sure to use moisturizing soaps when showering and washing your hands. Do not wear fragrance and alcohol containing products as they can trigger the allergic reactions and cause inflamed skin.
7. Ease your stress
The winter holidays bring about full energy and you spend good time with your loved ones, but they can also bring stress. This is something which can affect your psoriasis to a great extent. Manage your stress and give time to yourself to relax. You can try a massage or spa treatment to help moisturize your skin. Do the stuff which lightens up your soul and improve your mood. Also, it is recommended by dermatologists to perform exercise at least 3 times a weak. It will relieve your stress and may reduce the potential for flare-ups.
8. Use a humidifier
Use a humidifier device to keep indoor air wet and you can wake up with smooth and fresh skin. Just run it in your bedroom before sleeping. It will converse the drying effects of indoor warmth. Additionally, follow all the directions for cleansing the humidifier to prevent production and growth of bacteria.
9. Lighten your mood
Other than stress, psoriasis can make you feel depressed. As depression is linked to less sunlight in winter and fall, you are more likely to get depressed when not exposing to direct sunlight. So these months are going to be an extra challenge for you. Plus, you need extra care now!
If you’re often sad, it’s better to talk to your doctor. You may take an antidepressant to lift your mood. Yoga, at early morning, is also a great idea to relieve your depression and anxiety.
10. Wear soft layers
Weather and wind during winter can deteriorate your skin and give rise to flare-ups of psoriasis. In particular, psoriasis in your joints may become more painful and traumatic. Make sure to bundle up in a soft muffler, head square, hat, and gloves whenever you go outdoors to secure exposed areas of your skin. You can peel off to prevent getting too hot by dressing in soft layers. Wear cotton over denim, wool, and other textures that are more likely to irritate your skin as sweating can result in worsening psoriasis.
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