The weather is heating up, and summer is just around the corner.
For some people with psoriasis, warm weather spells relief from psoriasis symptoms. Sunlight helps to reduce skin patches, and higher humidity relieves dry skin. However, air-conditioning and chlorine can dry skin and trigger a flare up.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep psoriasis flares at bay so you can make the most of balmy days.
Enjoy the sun - but not too much!
Many people with psoriasis see an improvement of their skin during summer because of sun exposure. Although it’s not a substitute for medical-grade light therapy, a little sun exposure can help soothe psoriasis and helps the body create vitamin D, which plays a role in psoriasis. However, while sun exposure can be great for the skin, it’s all about moderation. It is best to limit yourself to no more than 15 minutes of direct sunlight without sunscreen, any more and you risk a potential flare up from sunburn. If you’re going to be in the sun for longer periods of time, sunscreen should be applied (and reapplied). Choose a sunscreen that’s natural (mineral), high SPF and formulated for sensitive skin; like Grahams SunClear SPF40 Natural Sunscreen.
SunClear Natural SPF 40 Sunscreen(vegan) uses microfine zinc oxide with no chemical UVA / UVB filters. We get asked all the time about the whitening effect of Zinc on the skin, well we are excited to say that SunClear goes on the skin clear!
Don’t forget to moisturise!
The biggest mistake when it comes to skincare during summer is ditching the moisturiser. Many aspects of summer, including air-conditioning and chlorine, can dry out the skin and cause a flare up. Make sure to cleanse the body with the Intensive Therapy Body Wash, then apply the Grahams Body and Bath Oil and Psoriasis Cream at least twice a day, particularly after you’ve been in contact with water or chlorine.
Go for an ocean swim
Although further research is needed, it’s believed salt water can help soothe psoriasis. For example, some studies have found that the water from the Dead Sea can be helpful for psoriasis and may also enhance the transmission of UV light therapy.
You’re most likely not travelling to the Dead Sea anytime soon, however, a trip to the beach may help reduce your symptoms and give your skin some much needed relief! Salt water can be drying though, so it’s a good idea to rinse off after your swim and moisturise immediately after.
Cut down on drinks
We know the festive season and warmer weather gets some people thirsty for a cocktail or two; but if you have psoriasis, you may have to limit how much you drink. Even moderate drinking has shown to reduce the effectiveness of psoriasis treatments, and alcohol can have dangerous side effects when mixed with psoriasis medications. If you can’t resist a drink during happy hour (don't worry, we get it!), theAmerican Academy of Dermatology recommends a limit of one drink per day for women and two for men.
Heat and sweat are common triggers of a psoriasis flareup, especially on your face and scalp. When possible, it’s best to stay inside when the temperature starts to get too high. Air conditioning can help with the sweating, but it also tends to dry out your skin. If you spend a lot of time in air conditioning (such as working in an office), make sure to hydrate the skin regularly with the Psoriasis Cream.
Protect yourself from bugs and cuts!
The Koebner Phenomenon is when psoriasis plaques start to appear at the site of an injury on the skin. Patches may follow the shape of a cut, bruise, or insect bite. If you fall and scrape your skin, make sure you clean and dress the wound immediately. Do not pick at the skin, as this can make it worse.
To avoid injuries or bites, wear long sleeves and protective clothing when outdoors or working in the garden.
Dress for your skin
Lightweight and breathable clothing, especially cotton, bamboo and silk, are less likely to irritate the skin or cause you to overheat. White is a great colour if you have scalp psoriasis because it hides flakes.