Winterize Yourself to Minimize Flare-ups

Many people living with psoriasis say their psoriasis worsens in winter. Psoriasis patients can manage their symptoms and ease seasonal discomfort by taking good care of themselves, reducing stress, and following these tips in winter:

  1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. While moisturizers should be used year round, these are especially important in the winter when the air is dry. Stock up on emollients and moisturizers and apply these products at least twice a day during the winter, particularly after bathing. Moisturizers can help prevent the itch and pain of dry skin and reduce scaling and inflammation. Many people see good results when they apply a lotion during the day and a cream or ointment at night.

  2. Plug in a humidifier. The dry heat blasting away in homes and offices in the winter can worsen psoriasis. The use of humidifiers, both at home and work, can add moisture to the air.

  3. Talk with a dermatologist. If wintertime is especially challenging, make an appointment to see a dermatologist. Adjusting a treatment regimen during the winter months can help ease discomfort.

  4. Wear cotton. Soft synthetics and insulating down may keep patients warm in the winter, but they also can cause psoriasis flare-ups particularly indoors. Instead, patients should layer cotton garments, one on top of another, to keep comfortable. Another option is to use a soft cotton T-shirt or shell under a dress shirt, sweater, or suit jacket.

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Page last updated 4/17/08

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