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If you are living with psoriasis, you may have noticed over the years that certain factors can exacerbate your symptoms or trigger their onset. Weather conditions are one of these factors.
Normal skin cells take about 30 days to grow, mature and shed. With psoriasis, this process occurs at an accelerated rate of three to four days. As a result, skin cells build up and form thick, red plaques of dry skin.
The exact cause of this inflammatory skin condition is not yet fully known, but researchers suspect that an immune system defect and genetics may be involved. It does not discriminate when it comes to age, race or gender. There are five types of psoriasis.
Different people react differently to weather conditions throughout the year. For some, a change in season can make their psoriasis symptoms worse, for others it can improve them. Here are a few tips to help you cope with the ups and downs of our seasonal weather.
Wind, cold temperatures, indoor heating and dry air can all aggravate psoriasis and even trigger a flare-up. These suggestions may help:
Psoriatic lesions can also occur following a viral or bacterial infection, such as a cold, the flu or a sore throat. Plenty of rest and a healthy diet are great ways to reduce your risk of developing these ailments. You should also ask your doctor if the seasonal flu shot is right for you.
When it comes to psoriasis, the sun is a double-edged sword. On one hand, exposure to UV rays seems to help reduce symptoms. In fact, light therapy is one of the treatments doctors use to help their patients with psoriasis. On the other hand, getting a sunburn can aggravate the condition. Better to err on the side of caution. Here are some guidelines:
People with a skin condition like psoriasis should also take precautions to prevent Koebner’s phenomenon, the appearance of new lesions at the site of a skin injury. This means preventing mosquito bites by wearing clothing that covers your entire body and applying an insect repellent with a low DEET level to healthy skin. You also need to avoid shaving nicks and cuts as much as possible.
Finally, since stress is present year round and a leading trigger of psoriasis flare-ups, it is a good idea to practise a relaxation technique like deep breathing, yoga or meditation.
If you need more information on psoriasis, its treatments, photosensitizing medications and the type of sunscreen and mosquito repellent you should use, talk to one of your family pharmacists. They’re always here for you!
[UNIPRIX] - The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.