It’s the most wonderful time of the year or is it? The winter months can be anything but wonderful for people with moderate to severe psoriasis. That’s because cold weather can make psoriasis symptoms worse. There are several reasons for this:
- Cold and dry weather extracts any moisture from your skin, which is already at a premium for people with psoriasis.
- Cold weather keeps more people indoors, where heaters can dry out the skin and trigger flare-ups.
- There’s less sunlight during the winter months, which in moderation can help relieve symptoms.
- Chilling temperatures can make psoriasis in your joints, known as psoriatic arthritis, more painful.
But you don’t have to sacrifice the joys of the season by succumbing to flare-ups. Here are five tips for staying warm without making your symptoms worse.
1. Forgo the parka.
That multi-layered, puffy jacket may keep the chill out, but it can also be insulating and exacerbate flares. Instead of one big jacket, wear several layers of cotton. This fabric is a smarter choice for people with psoriasis because it breathes better. Cotton is also a natural fiber, so you’re less likely to have any chemical reactions to it. Synthetics, nylon, and polyester, on the other hand, lack the absorbing properties of cotton, which can actually make you sweat more.
2. Make your own hand warmers.
Packaged hand warmers are convenient, but not the best choice if you have psoriasis. Air-activated, disposable hand warmers work through oxidation. This process traps moisture and holds in heat after the hand warmers are exposed to outside air. Supersaturated solutions contain chemicals that ignite the heat. Both of these can be especially irritating for psoriasis symptoms.
If you’re feeling crafty or looking for an afternoon project, try making your own hand warmers like these.Read more in Psoriasis Resources
About psoriasis. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis
Frequently asked questions: Psoriasis in spring, summer, fall and winter. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/faqs/weather
Phototherapy. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments/phototherapy
Poskin, A. (2015, November 11). Homemade holiday gift idea: Make these cozy lavender handwarmers. Retrieved from http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/diy-lavender-hand-warmers-225340