Winter can trigger psoriasis flares with dry air, colder temperatures, and reduced exposure to sunlight – all of which can worsen the symptoms of psoriasis. What can those who suffer from psoriasis due to prevent a flare-up of symptoms? Are there winter tips for psoriasis treatment?
Anything that can affect the immune system can, in turn, affect psoriasis. Having a cold or the flu can play a role in the flare up or re-occurence of psoriasis. Plenty of rest and an awareness of other triggers, such as food allergies, stress and long-standing infections, that can increase susceptibility to sickness are ways to reduce flare-ups. Researchers believe that psoriasis may occur when the immune system is accidentally activated and triggers an acceleration of the skin cell cycle. The immune system attacks the skin’s own tissue causing cell turn over as quickly as every two to three days - old cells don't shed off normally and new cells multiply so quickly they stick together and erupt to form lesions called patches or plaques. The end result?? Dry, scaly, red, and sometimes itchy patches of skin. Knowing your triggers is the key to avoiding these flare-ups.
Skin doctors and other health professionals who care for psoriasis patients advocate that people should MOISTURISE at least 3 to 5 times a day. The most essential moisturisers are lotions, creams and ointments. These help to lock in moisture to prevent dry skin during the day. When skin doesn’t have enough protective oils or when there's not enough water in the outermost layer of the skin which are not replaced, tiny cracks or fissures can develop on the surface and moisture escapes. This effect can intensify during the winter, when environmental humidity is low. Any trauma to the skin, such as cracking, causes an inflammatory response, which can make skin more susceptible to flare-ups of psoriasis and eczema.
Eczema occurs when the immune system responds to something in its environment such as harsh soaps, detergents, or other irritants by causing the skin to erupt in red or brown patches. Eczema is most common in individuals who live in dry climates or in the city.
Creams that moisturise AND contain soothing or nourishing botanicals are known to give relief or reduce the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema. For instance:-
- The gel from the aloe plant can be applied to the skin up to reduce redness and scaling associated with psoriasis.
- Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar may help relieve itch and the burning sensation from psoriasis.
- Dead Sea salts contains minerals which may help remove scales and nourish stressed skin.
Avoiding soaps and creams containing chemicals or known skin irritants eg sodium lauryl sulfates, formaldehyde, glycols or parabens, is a great place to start and choosing natural and gentle vegetable based soaps and moisturisers to cleanse and sooth the stressed skin is the next step.
The key to relieving psoriasis is to find what works for you and then to practice it regularly. We at Juddarnje are passionate about keeping our skin as healthy and problem free as possible. Nature has all we need. Let's use it to the full.