Effects of seasons and weather on Psoriasis
Different people react differently to the weather and the seasons. Some people find their psoriasis is better in the summer but flares in the winter. Others find hot & humid weather triggers flare-ups.
Autumn and Winter2
Colder weather in autumn and winter usually means turning on the heating – which can dry out the air in your home.
If cold weather is bothering your psoriasis you can try:
- Using a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home
- Turning down the heat at night (cool air is less drying)
- Staying well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Applying moisturisers while still wet from a bath or shower and re-applying throughout the day
- Use moisturising soaps or shower gels and take warm showers instead of soaking in hot baths
- Being stressed out or catching a cold or the flu can trigger flare-ups. Take care of yourself by getting sufficient rest and eating a healthy diet. Speak with your doctor about whether you should get a flu injection.
- Apply a cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 on exposed areas to protect against sun, harsh wind and cold.
Spring and Summer2
Many people find that moderate exposure to sunlight can help their psoriasis. However, there can be too much of a good thing! Sunburn can cause damage to the skin.
To enjoy the sun safely:
- Limit your sun exposure. Everyone can burn but those with fair skin are at even higher risk of sunburn. And don’t forget – sunlight can penetrate glass, clouds, water and thin clothing. Even shade doesn’t provide complete protection.
- Some medications increase your sensitivity to sunlight.
- Use a good quality sunscreen with a minimum Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30. Re-apply it throughout the day, especially if you’ve been in the water or sweating. Your doctor and pharmacist can help find a sunscreen that is right for you.
- Chemicals in pools or the salt in sea water can irritate or dry out the skin. Limit the time you spend in the water and take a shower as soon as you get out of the water. Dry yourself and apply moisturiser and sunscreen.
- Wear loose, light and comfortable clothing that allows the air to circulate and sweat to evaporate. If you have psoriasis on your feet, be sure to wear comfortable shoes or sandals that are large enough to accommodate minor foot swelling in hot weather.