Summer is usually the best season for people with psoriasis because the warmth and humidity mean the opportunity for natural relief of itching and dryness. Also, reasonable periods of sunbathing are the perfect treatment for plaque psoriasis lesions.
However, summer also means showing some skin and the addition of a number of common seasonal triggers that you should keep in mind to have a comfortable, pain-free summer.
Take in the rays but protect your skin
The natural ultraviolet light from the sun is the reason people with psoriasis experience much milder symptoms in the summer. Take in the sun and humidity starting with 5-10 minutes a day and increase the amount to 15-20 minutes progressively. Applying sunscreen to all the areas of the body that do not have lesions is imperative to avoid triggering more flare-ups.
You must also protect the affected areas with sunscreen they are going to be exposed to the sunlight for longer than 15-20 minutes. Mineral-based sunscreens that contain titanium dioxide and zinc are your best options.
Moisturize as you always should
Moisturizing daily with a medicated or a thick, quality moisturizer is not only essential in the summer for people with psoriasis but every season. The humidity in the summer works wonders for your skin, but exposure to chlorine and air conditioning cause dry skin, so moisturizing–after taking showers to capture the moisture– is still an important aspect of managing psoriasis in the summer.
Take a dip
Sea/ocean salt have healing and soothing properties, so many people with psoriasis find relief after swimming in the ocean/sea. Take a cool or lukewarm shower after your swim and remember to moisturize. Try to opt for swimming in the ocean instead of pools as chlorine will cause dryness and flakiness.
Keep cool and hydrated
Remember to drink lots of water in the summer, and limit sugary drinks and alcohol. Also, prolonged exposure to heat and sweating worsen psoriasis, particularly on the scalp and face.
Unfortunately, there is a bit of a catch-22 when you want to escape the heat with air-conditioning as this can dry your skin out more. So remember to moisturize with an effective product a couple of times.
Watch for insect bites
Summertime means dealing with mosquitos and other unwanted species that cannot get enough of us. Insect bites are doubly bothersome for people with psoriasis as they can worsen psoriasis. However, insect repellents that contain DEET also cause psoriasis flare-ups, which is why you need to rely on newer brands with little to no DEET content or a more natural option like citronella candles.
Another precaution you can take is wearing long-sleeved tops and pants that are summer-appropriate and breathable enough — especially at night.
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