Summertime Tips When You Have Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic condition that’s characterized by scaly patches of dry, red skin. These patches, called psoriasis plaques, can be itchy, painful, and unsightly.

Having psoriasis means identifying and avoiding your triggers to keep it under control. The changing seasons can bring changes to your skin and make you wonder if a flare-up is in your future.

It’s no secret that sweating and sunburns can make psoriasis worse, but that doesn’t mean you have to dread summertime. Oswald Mikell, MD, and our team at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry specialize in treating psoriasis.

There’s no cure, but it can be managed to reduce flare-ups and skin irritation, no matter the season. Read on for our top tips to keep your skin comfortable this summer.

Sunbathe safely

Sun exposure in limited amounts can reduce psoriasis symptoms. Some people with psoriasis find that sunbathing for 5-15 minutes every day helps reduce plaques and other symptoms.

While natural sunlight isn’t the same as medical-grade light therapy for psoriasis, getting some sun during the summer could minimize flare-ups.

Avoid sunburns

While getting a few minutes of sunshine every day could help your skin, take care not to get sunburned. Too much sun exposure and sunburns can trigger psoriasis flare-ups.

Always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen when you’re in the sun. Choose sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, and apply it regularly over all of your exposed skin.  

Swim in saltwater

Salty ocean water has lots of benefits for skin. Swimming in the ocean can exfoliate dead skin cells and reduce psoriasis symptoms. Plus, saltwater is packed with minerals, such as chloride, magnesium, sodium, and sulphate, which can nourish skin that is affected by psoriasis plaques.

Once you leave the water, rinse off with a cool shower. Saltwater can be drying, so it’s important to wash the salt from your skin and moisturize after a dip in the ocean.

Don’t get too hot

Spending some time in the sun may reduce your psoriasis symptoms, but getting too hot could make them worse. Overheating and sweating excessively can trigger psoriasis flare-ups, so it’s important to stay in tune with your body and take time to cool down when you need to.

Stay cool by choosing appropriate clothing for your activities. Breathable fabrics, such as cotton, or materials that wick away sweat can help you stay cool. Light-colored clothing absorbs less heat than dark colors, and long sleeves and pants can help keep the sun off your skin. And always remember to wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your face and neck.

Moisturize regularly

Warm, humid air outside can help your skin stay moisturized in the summer, but that doesn’t mean you should skip moisturizing lotion. Swimming in saltwater or chlorinated pools can dry out your skin, and so can dry indoor air conditioning.

Continue applying moisturizers regularly throughout the summer season. Moisturize after cleansing your skin and especially if you spend a lot of time in air conditioning.

You don’t have to deal with psoriasis flare-ups this summer. We can help you find ways to keep your symptoms at bay and enjoy all of your favorite summertime activities. To learn more, book an appointment over the phone with Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry today.

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