Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin, causing red, raised, scaly patches on the skin that are often painful and itchy. As with many autoimmune disorders, psoriasis is characterized by “flare-up” episodes in which symptoms are triggered by external or internal stimuli and worsen before resolving until the cycle begins again. Although psoriasis triggers are different for each person, too much sun or heat is a common one. For that reason, it’s especially important to protect yourself from psoriasis flare-ups during the summer months. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that you can take in order to do this.
Get Just Enough Sun
For many people, psoriasis symptoms improve in the summer months. That’s because exposure to ultraviolet rays slows the growth of skin cells, while ultra-rapid skin cell growth is what causes the disease’s scaly, raised lesions. However, getting a sunburn can worsen psoriasis, so it’s important to wear sunscreen while you’re outdoors.
Check Your Meds
Some medications make you even more sensitive to light. Before heading outdoors, read your medication labels to make sure there is not a restriction on sun exposure. In addition, medications like lithium, beta blockers and prescriptions for heart arrhythmia can cause psoriasis flare-ups.
If you love being active in the summer months, make sure you wear elbow pads and knee pads. Trauma to the skin, even a small cut or bruise, can lead to exacerbation of psoriasis symptoms. You should also wear bug repellent to avoid insect bites and take care when shaving, especially if you tend to remove hair from your legs in the summer months.
When the weather gets warm, a happy hour cocktail on the patio is your ideal way to end a work week. However, some experts think that alcohol can worsen psoriasis symptoms, especially in men. If you notice any psoriasis flare-ups after a night of drinking, then you should probably stick to club soda next time.
Take Good Care of Your Skin
Make sure that your skin gets plenty of moisture, especially if you are experiencing psoriasis symptoms. Bathe regularly to remove dirt, oil, sweat and makeup, and follow up your shower or bath with a thick moisturizing lotion. If you have dry patches, you can apply petroleum jelly and put plastic wrap over the top for a few hours to ease symptoms.
Consult the Professionals
If you really want to be sure that you are doing everything you can to prevent psoriasis flare-ups in the summer, then schedule a consultation at The Dermatology Office, with locations in Poplar Bluff and Paragould. Our team of experts will be happy to point you in the right direction when it comes to managing your symptoms. Contact us today to book your appointment to learn more.