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Managing life with psoriasis is not easy, and it definitely poses its own unique challenges. Moreover, when it's winter, it becomes difficult to manage the condition as the cold climate and dry weather in winter can trigger psoriasis outbreaks. But there are many ways to tackle the drying effects of cold temperature for people with psoriasis. Dr Sanjiv Kandhari, Dermatologist, Delhi shares few must-dos that every person with psoriasis must follow to prevent flare-ups in winter.
1. Use moisturizing cream: Keep your skin moist to ease redness and itching, and heal psoriasis patches. The thicker the cream or ointment, the better it is at locking water into your skin. Use moisturizing soap and a creamy lotion after you shower, bathe, and wash your hands. Choose fragrance-free products to avoid allergic reactions. Also read about home remedies for relief from psoriasis.
2. Opt for soothing baths (over hot showers): Long showers in hot water removes moisture from your skin. Shower in warm water just long enough to soap up and rinse off. Apply moisturizing cream or lotion right after to avoid dry skin.
3. Wear soft layers: Cold weather and wind can irritate your skin and cause flare-ups. They can also make psoriasis in your joints more painful. Cover yourself with a soft scarf, hat, and gloves when you go outside to protect exposed areas of skin. Dress in layers you can peel off to avoid getting too hot -- sweating can make psoriasis worse. Choose cotton over wool, denim, and other fabrics that are more likely to bother your skin.
4. Stay hydrated by drinking more water: To pump up moisture, drink plenty of water. You will know if you are getting enough because your urine will be a pale yellow. If your urine is bright yellow or dark-coloured, you may need more water. Here are foods you should NOT eat if you suffer from psoriasis.
5. Ease stress: Stress can make psoriasis worse. Take the time to relax. Try a massage or spa treatment to moisturize your skin and beat the winter chill. Exercise can also help relieve stress and reduce flare-ups.
6. Lighten your mood: Psoriasis can make you depressed. If you also have seasonal affective disorder -- depression linked to less sunlight in winter and fall -- these months are an extra challenge. If you are sad often, talk to your doctor. Light therapy or an antidepressant may lift your mood.
7. Take Vitamin D supplements:Vitamin D deficiency is often related to psoriasis. Due to less exposure to sunlight during the winter, there are high chances that it can lead to a flare-up of psoriasis symptoms. To prevent this, one must consume a good quantity of vitamin D supplements.
If your psoriasis always gets worse in winter, talk with your doctor. You may only need to adjust your medications a little or get some light therapy. Hence, do not think twice before seeking a professional advice to manage psoriasis in winter. Also read about homeopathic treatment for psoriasis.
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