Summer can be good or bad for your psoriasis, depending on where you like to hang out. For instance, if New Jersey is experiencing super-high temperatures, it is natural to seek escape in the cool relief of air conditioning. Unfortunately, air conditioning can cause your psoriasis to flare up, as can a dip in the pool or ocean. The good news is that sunshine and humidity can keep your psoriasis under control. Windsor Dermatology is home to the Psoriasis Treatment Center of Central New Jersey, with professionals offering a variety of effective treatments. Here are some of their recommendations for summer psoriasis relief.
Spend Time in the Sun (But Not Too Much!)
Catch the sun’s rays for up to 15 minutes a day, but start with five minutes daily and work your way up. Definitely, use sunscreen to cover your skin except for psoriasis patches. However, if you will be in the sun for longer than 15 minutes, cover these patches as well. Follow general good practices for sunbathing such as using a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Apply it 15 to 30 minutes before venturing outside. Of course, you do want to limit your sun exposure. After all, sunburn can be really bad for your psoriasis and for your health in general. Follow these tips:
- Wear a hat.
- Protect your body with clothing, especially if you will be outside for a while.
- Wear a shirt when swimming (rash guard style recommended).
- Use a mineral sunscreen that has titanium dioxide or zinc.
One more thing: Talk with your doctor or dermatologist about any medications you are taking. Certain substances increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and may boost your risk of getting sunburnt. If you have problems with sunburn, then ultralight therapy may be a better option than sunbathing. Many people use both, and ultralight therapy is common year-round and during other seasons.
Welcome the Humidity
Humidity keeps your patches in better shape with less cracking. Drink lots of water and apply sunscreen to keep your skin pliant. Don’t overdo any measures that could dry out your skin.
- Moisturize up to two times a day when you bask in air conditioning.
- Rinse well after you swim; go a step further and shower if you can.
- Apply moisturizer after your swim and rinse. Both pool and ocean bathing can get rid of dead skin (good!) but may leave your skin flaky and dry (bad!). Moisturize within three minutes of your shower or rinse to prevent evaporation.
- Use soaps and shampoos that remove chlorine.
- Minimize situations where you might experience excessive heat and sweating.
- Hydrate frequently.
Protect Against Insects
Insect bites and repellents with DEET can be bad for your psoriasis. Stay inside when insects are active. Dusk is an especially busy time. Use citronella candles, and wear clothing that covers your skin.
Stay As Healthy As Possible
Stress can make psoriasis worse. So can allergies and colds. Continue washing your hands in the summer and eat as healthfully as possible to keep your immune system functioning well. Avoid trendy diets, even those that purport to cure psoriasis. They are not effective and may be harmful to your health.
The National Psoriasis Foundation cautions against going into a hot tub or swimming pool if you have oozing or infected sores. Even if you don’t have any open sores, be careful not to soak in a hot tub overlong because that could cause itching or irritation.
Summer is the best time of the year for many people with psoriasis, but even then, serious issues can arise. If you experience problems, call the Windsor Dermatology office or schedule an appointment online to get seen in the treatment center.