When the seasons change, it can be a difficult adjustment for those with skincare concerns, and people with psoriasis are particularly familiar with the challenges that accompany colder weather. Wintry weather can dry out the skin and exacerbate itchiness, and many people find they need better strategies for managing psoriasis in cold weather.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes skin cells to form up to ten times faster than usual, which results in red, scaly patches that can be itchy and painful. It affects 125 million people worldwide each year and is common on the scalp, lower back, elbows, and knees. It is a common, long-term (chronic) disease with no cure. It tends to go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a while or going into remission. While psoriasis often first develops in teenagers and young adults, it can affect people of all ages.
Though the two are often confused, psoriasis and eczema are not the same. Psoriasis is an autoimmune response, while eczema is triggered by a hypersensitivity reaction from allergies. The patches caused by psoriasis tend to be thicker than those caused by eczema, and they can be silvery and scaly. If you look closely, the skin is thicker and more inflamed than with eczema. While eczema tends to be extremely itchy, psoriasis is known for triggering stinging, burning sensations.
Symptoms of psoriasis include:
- Dry skin, which can crack and bleed
- Plaques that typically appear as raised, red and inflamed patches
- Itching, burning and soreness around patches
- Painful, swollen joints
- Thick, pitted nails
Several factors may exacerbate manifestations of psoriasis, or even trigger the disease. Therefore, by avoiding certain triggers, you can reduce their psoriasis from flaring up as frequently.
Possible triggers of psoriasis include:
- Certain medications
- Cold, dry weather
- Trauma to skin
It’s not always clear what causes psoriasis, but you can take steps to manage the symptoms so that your skin isn’t overwhelmed.
How to Manage Psoriasis in Cold Weather
Cold winds and dry indoor air create the perfect storm for people with psoriasis, and often worsen their symptoms. The good news is that there are ways to be proactive to ensure your skin stays healthy. So, how do you provide your skin the extra care it needs in the cold weather? Here are some easy home remedies for people with psoriasis to prioritize the health of their skin:
1. Stay Moisturized: Dry skin is more susceptible to psoriasis breakouts, so use a thick skin cream to keep rough patches moisturized and ease any redness and itching. Skin hydration is key for optimizing plumpness and glow, so it’s important to moisturize your skin often with chemical-free clean beauty products made with safe ingredients. Try to use serums, creams or oil-based moisturizers instead of lotion or water-based moisturizers this season. This will help prevent water from evaporating from your skin, leaving it nourished and hydrated.
2. Use a Humidifier: Add moisture to your home environment with a humidifier. While it can benefit any room, you’ll maximize the impact on your skin by running one in your bedroom while you sleep.
3. Keep Hydrated: It’s easy to get dehydrated in the winter months because the clothes we wear in cold weather wick away sweat so quickly, pulling moisture away from our bodies. Make sure you’re drinking enough water during the day to keep your urine pale yellow, and you’ll be keeping your skin healthy from the inside out.
4. Protect Your Skin from Exposure: When you venture outdoors in winter weather, take time beforehand to protect sensitive skin from the elements with warm clothes. This creates a buffer from harsh winds that can trigger flare ups and make psoriasis more painful.
5. Opt for All-Natural Laundry Care with 0% Toxins. Avoid cleaning products that may irritate or dry out your skin. Opt for PiPPER STANDARD all-natural laundry detergent and hypoallergenic fabric softener, which are free of fragrances, dyes, and other toxins. Their natural formulas don’t dry out skin when handling washed clothes. Our products clean comparably to chemical detergents and are free of known allergens. They have passed hypoallergenic and non-irritation tests, making them a great option for those who have sensitive skin or are allergic to synthetic fragrances and perfumes.
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