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Caring for your psoriasis during the winter

Winter weather may make it harder to care for your psoriasis. In Canada, our
winters are long. We receive fewer hours of sunlight and the rays of the sun
are weaker, providing less of the benefit of ultraviolet light B (UVB) to those
with psoriasis. As well, the winter air is drier, making it more difficult to
maintain moisture in your skin.

Follow these tips to help you through the winter months.

Keep your skin well hydrated. During the winter, the humidity level
in the air (inside as well as outside) often decreases significantly, so it’s
harder to keep skin well moisturized. Apply heavier layers of creams and ointments
over areas affected by psoriasis and, if possible, run a humidifier in your
home and office.

Ask your doctor about artificial light therapy. This type of treatment
can help slow the excessive skin cell growth present in psoriasis and can clear
flare-ups for months at a time. However, there are side effects and possible
risks involved, so make sure to check with your health-care professional about
whether this treatment is right for you.

Avoid hot baths. It may be tempting to jump into a hot bath while the
cold wind rages outside, but keep in mind that hot baths or showers can irritate
your psoriasis symptoms. Before hopping into the bathtub or shower, make sure
that the water is at a moderate temperature.

If planning a vacation to a sunny climate, pack clothes and shoes that fit
comfortably and will not irritate your skin.
Tight-fitting clothes and clothing
made from certain fabrics can irritate your skin and worsen symptoms. While
hot and humid weather can benefit some people with psoriasis, it can also cause
other people’s symptoms to worsen. Before going away on vacation, do some background
research on the vacation spot and pick a suitable time to go. But protect your
skin from the sun! Bring a sunscreen with at least SPF 15 coverage. Sunburns
can worsen your psoriasis – and increase your risk of skin cancer.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Living-with-Psoriasis

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