Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by extreme skin dryness and inflammation. The faulty immune system stimulates rapid growth of skin cells, resulting in thick psoriasis scales on various parts of the body. Wikipedia says that more than 2% of the world’s population is suffering from this stubborn skin condition. For most of the people suffering from psoriasis, the condition worsen in the winter. Cool breeze, freezing temperature, wet weather and no sunlight- all these things can make the skin further dry and itchy.
Enlist below are a handful of simple and effective lifestyle tips for Psoriasis care in the winter:
- Don’t let the skin get dry– Just like any other skin disorder, keeping the skin moist is the foremost condition to make sure that you don’t make your psoriasis angry. The winter can strip off the natural moisture of your skin and make it utterly dry. To counter it, use a moisturizing bathing soap and shampoo. Immediately after bathing, use a moisturizing lotion on the body to keep the moisture locked in.
- Avoid hot water bath– We all enjoy long, hot shower during the winter. But, prolonged bathing in hot water is not good for your skin. It inflames your skin, causes redness and most importantly, it disrupts the skin’s inherent moisture balance. Prefer warm water bath and don’t make the bath time too long. As stated earlier, don’t forget to use a moisturizer after getting out of the bath to lock the water intact.
- Avoid use of room heaters for long time– It is a common practice to use room heaters during the winter season to keep the environment warm. You would see room heaters everywhere- houses and offices. Hot radiations emitting from these heaters can accelerate the drying of your skin to trouble you. Try to reduce the running time of these heaters if possible. If it is not an option to reduce the blowing time of these heaters, then use humidifiers along with them. Humidifiers would keep the indoor air moist and counter the drying effect of blowing air.
- Drink enough water– During winter, you are bound to lose the natural skin moisture because of so many factors. So, drinking enough water is the best way to keep your skin hydrated naturally. In general, we all drink less water during the winter. Take a note of it and make sure that you drink at least 10-12 cups of water a day. You can drink warm water instead of normal cool water. Drinking less water would slow down the elimination of toxins from the body also to hamper the overall body metabolism.
- Relieve stress– No matter how hard you try, it is inevitable that winter would flare up your psoriasis. The intensity may vary from person to person. Hence, getting stressed is quite obvious. To make the situation worse, dark days (without sunlight) would further make you feel low. It has been observed that people are tend to feel low and stressed during the winter time, especially during the Christmas holidays if they are dealing with any stressful mental or physical illness. Stress is a definite trigger for psoriasis. Hence, opt for options like regular workout, meditation, yoga and massage therapies. Discussing with your family and close friends can also make you feel motivated.
- Alcohol and smoking– If you drink alcohol, then during the winter, you would drink more alcohol. To keep your body warm, to celebrate the Christmas, to counter the psoriasis induces stress- so many reasons for it. Here, you have to be extra cautious. Alcohol is diuretic in nature and make your skin starve for moisture. Also, alcohol disrupts the healing effect of most of the medicines recommended for psoriasis. To add on, a lot of people have a habit of consuming alcohol and smoking together. It is a big NO. Smoking is a bigger culprit than alcohol.
- Proper clothing– Clothing also plays a vital role here. Don’t wear heavy clothing as they can rub the psoriasis affected skin to cause irritation. When you are out in the sun, these heavy clothing would restrict the exposure of your skin to the sunlight. Vitamin D in sunlight has a soothing effect on skin and you would miss that. Instead, coarser clothing would make you sweat in the sun. With no way to evaporate, the sweat would aggregate and compel you to rub your skin harshly. The intelligent choice is- wear lightweight cotton clothing in multi layers. Multi layered clothing would make sure that you can remove them outer layers during the afternoon to expose your skin to sunlight and avoid unnecessary skin irritation.
- Avoid cold and flu– When you get cold and flu, your immune system gets hyper active to fight off the infection causing bacteria and virus. Such a hyper-active immune system would further enhance the growth of skin cells to flare up psoriasis. Stay away from cold and flu- wear proper clothing, wash your hands frequently, take proper rest and eat healthy food.
- Take omega 3 supplements– Omega 3 fatty acids are the essential fats that your body can’t make by itself. These fats help in reducing inflammation and nourishing your skin. Fish oil supplements are the best source to get enough omega 3 fatty acids.
Psoriasis care in the winter is not a rocket science. Follow above mentioned simple and effective lifestyle tips to make peace with psoriasis.
This post is submitted by Ashish Agarwal. Check his blog- Psoriasis Self Management for more tips about holistic healing of psoriasis.