How to Make Psoriasis Control More Effective this Summer
While more sun exposure and higher humidity levels
often help alleviate psoriasis, summertime also brings some unique
challenges. These self-care tips can make it easier to manage
psoriasis during the summer months.
Avoid getting sunburned. While sun
exposure helps many people with psoriasis, getting sunburned can
cause psoriasis to flare. Even a mild sunburn can worsen
existing psoriasis and cause new psoriasis plaques to form. A
severe sunburn can cause psoriasis to form on all skin that gets
To protect the skin and still get the benefits of sun exposure,
Be sure to re-apply sunscreen approximately every two hours,
even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
Another good reason to liberally apply sunscreen before going
outdoors is that some medications used to treat psoriasis can
make the skin more sensitive to the sun. When treating with one
of these medications, even minimal unprotected sun exposure can
increase the risk of a psoriasis flare-up.
Use moisturizer if spending hours in air
conditioning. Air conditioning can strip skin of its natural
moisture, which can cause psoriasis to flare. Applying
moisturizer liberally after bathing can help.
Go for a swim. Swimming is excellent
exercise and good for psoriasis. If a dip in saltwater is
possible, so much the better. Saltwater can help remove dead
skin, which often makes the skin feel better and look healthier.
After swimming, dermatologists recommend:
or take a bath. Letting water dry on the skin can cause
dryness and irritation. Chlorine and other chemicals used to
maintain swimming pools can be especially irritating.
sunscreen. This helps protect the skin from sunburn,
which can trigger psoriasis.
Try to avoid nicks, cuts, and bug bites.
People with psoriasis often notice new psoriasis lesions 10 to
14 days after the skin is injured. This relationship between
skin injury and developing new psoriatic lesions has been
observed in many patients. It is called the called the “Koebner
phenomenon.” Scratching and even vigorous rubbing can lead to
psoriasis on previously unaffected skin.
To protect the skin from insect bites, dermatologists recommend:
caution when applying insect repellent to the skin. If
an insect repellent is needed, choose one that contains a
low percentage of DEET, the active ingredient in most insect
other means to avoid insect bites. Use citronella
candles or stay indoors when insects are most active such as
Keep cool. Perspiring can irritate the
skin, especially when psoriasis develops on the face or scalp.
If perspiration is irritating the skin, find ways to stay cool.
Seek out air-conditioned places. When that is not possible,
gently wipe the perspiration from the skin with a clean
washcloth that has been moistened with cool water or gently
remove perspiration with a clean, unscented wipe.
Relax and enjoy the season. Research
confirms that stress can worsen psoriasis and increase itching.
When it comes to managing psoriasis during the summer, probably
one of the most important tips is to find ways to relax and
enjoy the season. Stress relief often brings psoriasis relief.
Tips from dermatologists to help manage psoriasis year round:
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developed by the American Academy of Dermatology