Skin conditions tend to flare up during summers, and many people with psoriasis are looking out for effective ways to manage their condition better during summer. As there is only no or limited outings one can do during the lockdown, there are still many effective ways that may help you adopt a holistic approach for managing psoriasis while being at home during this time.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, it was highlighted that people with psoriasis often do respond well to exposure to natural and/or artificial ultraviolet light. However, this may be different from person to person, says Dr Monica Bambroo, HOD – Dermatology and Cosmetology, Artemis Hospital, Gurugram.
If your psoriasis has responded well in the past to sunlight or phototherapy, it is likely that you will have a positive response. If you have responded negatively, then sunbathing is most likely not for you. Overexposure to ultraviolet light can trigger a flare-up of psoriasis symptoms. It is best to start with very low exposure times and build-up over several weeks.
Here are some of the most effective ways to manage psoriasis during summer.
Schedule time in the sun: Exposure to sunlight is one of the main reasons when symptoms of psoriasis improve during summer. If sunbath works best for your psoriasis during summer, make sure you do it for about five minutes a day. Gradually increase the time up to 15 minutes. Ensure to seek your dermatologist”s opinion to formulate a sunscreen and time-
limit plan. Dermatologists suggest applying two ounces (about a shot glass worth) of SPF 30 or higher a half hour before you go outside, further reapply every two hours. Additionally, limit your exposure to sunlight to avoid sunburn, which has the potential to stimulate your immune system and lead to more flare ups.
Wear loose cotton clothes: Of all fabrics, cotton is the most suitable one for psoriasis patients. It is a light-weight material and allows your skin to breathe, preventing your body from overheating and perspiration. Cotton clothes will not irritate existing dry patches on your skin. Hence, it is advisable for psoriasis patients to wear more of cotton and absolutely avoid synthetic or nylon clothes.
Be careful from insect bites: Bites from mosquitos and other insects can aggravate psoriasis — so can insect repellents that have DEET. To protect yourself, wear long-sleeve shirts with long pants, and stay indoors at dusk, when insects are most active. Try applying it to clothing instead of the skin. Covering up your skin may help as well. Ask your dermatologist for a recommendation.
It might be time to change treatment routines: Certain medications commonly used in the treatment may increase sun sensitivity. Therefore, it is advisable that you may seek an opinion on your medication from a dermatologist. In some cases, topical medications can be decreased over the summer as well. In case of biological treatment for moderate to severe psoriasis, your dermatologist may advise to increase or decrease the dosage. Remember to always seek your dermatologist”s opinion before making changes to your treatment regimen.
Avoid stress and eat right: It is very crucial for people with psoriasis to incorporate a healthier lifestyle with a balanced diet, exercise and practice meditation. This may not only help in improving overall health but may also be an advantage in reducing flare ups. While there isn”t a particular diet proven to help psoriasis, eating certain foods and avoiding others can help with inflammation and may decrease the frequency of flare-ups. Anti-inflammatory foods include fish, plant-based foods, and healthy fats such as olive oil. Foods to avoid that increase inflammation include red meat, sugar, and processed ingredients.