Suggestions on what to do if you have psoriasis during summertime
Psoriasis patients have already noticed that their symptoms can be better at certain times and worse at others. In general, warm weather often spells relief from psoriasis. Reason for this is that there is more moisture in the air, which is good for dry and flaky skin.
When things are bad, we get thick, silvery scales on our skin and dry, itchy red patches that can hurt.
Common treatments include topical medications that reduce inflammation, and oral or injected medications that suppress our immune system. However, another form of treatment for psoriasis involves one of the most natural elements on earth: the sun. Sunlight helps reduce skin patches, and higher humidity relieves dry skin.
Time for some sun
Being in the sun for short periods of time can help a lot. Some people even notice their scales and patches disappear in warm climates during the summer.
This is because the sun gives off a kind of light called ultraviolet (UV) light. There are two types: UVA and UVB. UVA light hasn’t proven to be very beneficial for psoriasis symptoms, but UVB light can slow down the growth of your skin cells, which helps with scaling and inflammation. UVB also helps your body make vitamin D, which is good for your skin and bones.
The first direct exposure to sun should only last five minutes. Then move that exposure time up to 15 minutes if you can.
No possibility of going out in the sun? Solution – Phototherapy
Phototherapy is a treatment for psoriasis that uses synthetic lights. Patients are exposed partially to artificial sources of light for 15-20 minutes. Before going for phototherapy be mindful to consult your doctor first.
Risks of sunlight with psoriasis
UVA light goes deep into your skin. Therefore, your skin tans if you’re in the sun regularly. Too much UVA over time can damage your skin and cause things like wrinkles, age spots, and broken veins.
UVB light can cause sunburn when you are out in the sun too long. A bad sunburn can trigger psoriasis.
Take care with sunlight
Sunburn can trigger flares in psoriasis, be sure not to sunbathe for more than 15 minutes. If you do choose to sunbathe for more than 15 minutes, put sunscreen on your psoriasis patches, preferably one that is made for sensitive skin.
If you are weary of sunbathing with psoriasis, do so outside of the peak sun hours of 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. You can still get plenty of sunshine to help with your psoriasis prior to 11 and after 3, so be sure to soak up the sun in that timeframe.
Does seawater cure psoriasis?
Bathing in natural mineral-rich water, including in mineral springs, is called balneotherapy and has long been used to treat psoriasis.
Ocean water differs from river water in that it has significantly higher amounts of minerals, including sodium, chloride, sulphate, magnesium and calcium. Therefore, it’s highly useful for skin conditions such as psoriasis.
Patients suffering from psoriasis have themselves reported feeling better after swimming in the ocean, but this may also have to do with sun exposure, which has been found to improve psoriasis symptoms.
Ocean swimming benefits for psoriasis and eczema
Ocean swimming also has benefits for eczema, another immune-mediated condition. Swimming in the sea can be a good exercise option for those with severe eczema as they often struggle to exercise in the heat and chlorinated pools.
But the response of eczema sufferers to saltwater is variable: some find it soothing, others uncomfortable.
There is some evidence to support the idea magnesium absorption is beneficial for the skin of eczema sufferers – presumably because it makes it less dry – as those using Epsom salt baths will attest. This may happen because magnesium-rich seawater may improve moisture retention in the skin, making it stronger and more rigid.
Because it is rich in other mineral salts such as sodium and iodine, ocean water can be considered an antiseptic, meaning it may have wound-healing properties. On the other hand, swimming in the ocean with open wounds may expose you to potential bacterial infections.
Look for saltwater pools
Most of us do not have the possibility to swim the sea or the ocean, solution is to look for saltwater pools which health spas and resorts. We should always target saltwater pools because the chlorine used in traditional pools can increase irritation and dry skin. If you have access to a saltwater pool, you will be less likely to have a flare-up after swimming.
Naftalan Oil before swimming
No matter what type of water you end up swimming in, you will want to add a skin protectant over your plaques and lesions. Naftalan Oil is perfect before swimming because it safeguards defensive mechanisms of the skin and its functions. This is especially important if you end up swimming in a chlorinated pool.
Shower immediately after swimming
It’s important to shower right after your swimming session so your skin can recover without setting off a flare. If you do not have time to take a full shower with soap, simply rinse yourself off with plain water. You should make this a priority if you swim in chlorinated water.
Don’t forget creams and lotions
Even though the summer sun and salt water can help to reduce your psoriasis, you should not stop applying skin creams or lotions. They trap moisture in your skin, which can be lost during any type of swimming (fresh, salt, and chlorinated water).
Naftalan Cream with Urea after swimming
Naftalan Cream with Urea brings natural hydration balance, firms, softens and protects the skin, keeps it from drying and premature ageing. This unique cream helps maintain smooth, soft, skin.
has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Urea is also a keratolytic, it helps with the skin thickening, as it gently dissolves the intercellular matrix and removes dead, thickened and dry layers of the skin.
You will want to apply it as soon as you shower or rinse off your skin. Damp skin retains lotion and seals in moisture better than skin that’s already dry.