Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that can cause the skin to become inflamed, itchy, red and cracked. Psoriasis outbreaks are more common during the winter months because cold temperatures have a drying effect on the skin.
That’s why it’s crucial to protect yourself from winter conditions and boost your skincare naturally.
In this article, we give you some recommendations to help you protect skin with psoriasis from the environmental factors caused by the arrival of winter.
Today we tell you:
- What is psoriasis?
- How does cold affect skin with psoriasis?
- 10 tips to protect skin with psoriasis from the cold
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an immune disorder that causes skin cells to overgrow and form plaques. It is not simply dry skin. It is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, leading to redness and flaking of the skin.
The condition can be triggered by various factors, including stress, injury, infection, certain medications, changes in temperature and humidity levels, and overexposure to the sun.
Although psoriasis can cause itching and discomfort, it is not contagious and usually poses no serious health risk other than causing minor pain.
More than 125 million people in the world have psoriasis. In Spain, it is estimated to affect more than one million people.
So far, there is no cure for psoriasis, but there are treatments available to control the symptoms and make them more bearable.
How does cold affect skin with psoriasis?
Although the exact cause of psoriasis is not well understood, doctors believe that several factors can lead to the development and activation of this inflammatory disease.
The time of year is one of the factors that can affect psoriasis flares.
When the winter months arrive, the skin becomes dry and flaky. This fact happens for many reasons, mainly because environmental conditions cause the skin to dry out.
In general, the skin needs water to function healthily, but in winter, when temperatures drop, our skin dries out more than usual, so it needs special care at this time of year.
Why does winter affect the skin with psoriasis so much?
On the one hand, the cold air outside and indoor heating cause skin to dehydrate quickly, mainly affecting people with psoriasis.
On the other hand, some research suggests that lower vitamin D levels and less exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays worsen skin with psoriasis.
But don’t worry, there are several things you can do to counteract the harsh winter conditions.
Here are just a few of them!
10 tips to protect skin with psoriasis from the cold
Although the severity of psoriasis can vary from person to person, it generally affects people more in winter, when they are more likely to have dry, cracked skin.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for the cold season and protect your skin to keep it in top condition.
1. Boost skin hydration
When skin is moisturised, it is less likely to crack and flake.
How can you boost skin hydration?
The first thing is to hydrate from the inside. Start by drinking fluids because your skin will benefit if you are well hydrated.
Drinking enough water is good for your skin, but it’s not the only thing you can do. You should also pay special attention to your diet. Eating healthy foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins and trace elements will help keep your skin naturally hydrated.
But skin hydration doesn’t just depend on what you eat.
Care routines are essential for healthy skin.
Your skin is made up of a living ecosystem of cells, and its condition depends on what you do to it. That is why we recommend that you follow a daily ritual to care for your skin by cleansing, moisturising and protecting it from harmful environmental factors.
Scientific studies demonstrate silica’s necessary action and efficacy in the synthesis of collagen and elastin in the skin and its structural role in glycosaminoglycans.
Soriaskin is a non-greasy solution that is applied directly to the skin. It is composed of organic silicon with Equisetum arvense and echinacea, a plant that has been used since ancient times for its benefits for the skin.
Apply it 3 to 4 times a day on the skin surface, especially in the area of psoriasis plaques. Thanks to this will help reduce inflammation, itching and flaking of the skin.
2. Creates a more humid environment
The cold of winter means heating to combat the low temperatures. The consequence is that the dry air from the heating absorbs moisture from the skin.
So, do we turn off the heating in winter?
Not at all. You can breathe if you thought that was the solution. To overcome this problem, we recommend using a humidifier, which increases the humidity in the air by spraying water vapour.
3. Keep an eye on skin hygiene
Cleanliness is vital for staying healthy. Soap is an excellent way to keep skin clean. However, inappropriate soap can damage the skin’s natural pH balance.
Lightly degreasing soaps are best for maintaining this balance. They are less aggressive to the skin and do not contain chemicals that irritate sensitive skin or cause allergic reactions.
With the right product, the best option is to read the information on the label.
4. Wear soft, breathable, natural fibre clothing
It is essential to be aware of the fabric composition of your clothes. Artificial fibres can be harmful to the skin and make it difficult to breathe normally.
For example, wool and synthetic fibres are abrasive to the skin.
One way to avoid skin irritation is to wear clothes made of natural fibres, such as cotton or silk. Natural garments and fabrics are breathable and cause minor skin irritation.
In addition, it is recommended to choose clothes that have smooth seams and are not too tight.
If your psoriasis affects your feet, an effective way to avoid skin irritation is to wear comfortable, breathable shoes to prevent your feet from sweating and irritation.
Have you ever put on a new piece of jewellery and suddenly developed a rash? Chances are, your skin is sensitive to certain metals. To avoid this, consider minimising the use of jewellery and costume jewellery.
5. Expose yourself to more sunlight
There are fewer hours of sunlight in winter, so it is advisable to make the most of them. Although the winter sun is not as intense as the summer sun, it still has benefits. For example, it helps our body to produce vitamin D.
We saw in the previous section that a lack of vitamin D could damage the skin.
Exercising outdoors is an excellent way to make the most of the sunlight. Take a walk, go running, or sit on a bench if you prefer, but expose yourself to sunlight for a few minutes each day.
6. Reduce stress
We all know that stress is a significant factor in psoriasis outbreaks.
The best way to reduce stress is to take time out and do things you enjoy. It is essential to look after yourself and do what you love to make you happier.
Play a sport, go out for a drink with people who make you laugh, or enjoy doing what you are passionate about. Any of these actions will reduce stress and the likelihood of psoriasis flares.
7. Short, warm showers
Please beware of the long, hot showers that we like so much in winter because they damage the skin’s hydration, leaving it dry and cracked.
It is recommended to shower with water that is not too hot and only long enough to lather and rinse.
Prefer a bath to a shower? That’s fine, as long as it’s a short, relaxing bath with lukewarm water.
Finally, we advise you to apply a moisturising cream or lotion immediately after your shower or bath to retain water.
8. Do not use colognes, perfumes or alcohol products directly on the skin
Colognes and perfumes are designed to be applied to clothes, not skin. Fragrances are not intended for direct application. They are strong chemicals that can irritate the skin and cause rashes or itchy hives.
You should always apply cologne or perfume to your clothing rather than putting it directly on your skin.
Avoid intense skin exfoliations, which can make psoriasis worse.
One of the most common triggers of psoriasis flares is skin trauma. This can be in the form of an injury but can also come from excessive skin flaking. When you have an area of your body with psoriasis, any damage to the top layer of skin can make it worse.
9. Healthy habits
Proper nutrition, drinking plenty of water and fluids and limiting alcohol and caffeine will also contribute to healthier skin.
Avoiding smoking is also a welcome step for the skin. It turns out that smoking can damage psoriasis patients as much as alcohol. It is even considered to be one of the causes of psoriasis flares.
That’s why, if you have a bad habit of smoking, you must devise strategies to help you curb your smoking.
Find a way to get enough sleep – not getting enough rest is linked to stress and can make psoriasis flare-ups worse.
A recent study found that people who slept less than 6 hours a night were more likely to experience a psoriasis flare-up in the next month than those who slept at least 7 hours.
Getting a good night’s sleep boosts immune system function, reduces stress and helps you maintain a healthy weight. All this will help you control psoriasis flare-ups.
10. Take skin-friendly food supplements
Silica is one of the most critical elements in the body, as it directly influences people’s health. This element stands out for its stimulation of the production of connective tissue, located in areas such as the skin, hair and nails.
In other words, it improves the quality of the skin, of which it forms part, keeping it elastic and healthy. And its role in collagen production prevents skin dryness.
There are now food supplements rich in natural silica that are perfectly assimilated and bioavailable to the body’s cells.
Each of the tips we have seen in this article will help you protect yourself from winter conditions, strengthen your skincare naturally and reduce the appearance of psoriasis outbreaks.