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October 28, 2021

Psoriasis in fall and winter – what you can do

Psoriasis therapy in Berlin
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In the fall and winter, many people notice psoriasis -patients notice an intensification of their symptoms in autumn and winter. The relapses often become more regular and more severe. Why does chronic inflammatory skin disease worsen in the cooler months of the year? What can patients do to counteract this? In the following news article we have compiled interesting information and tips for those affected.

Psoriasis – why it usually gets worse in fall and winter

Our skin is exposed to various changes and influences during the cooler months of the year. This makes the outside temperatures colder and the air less humid. The dry heating air indoors can also have a negative effect on the skin and cause it to become irritated and dry, for example. In this case, the already stressed skin with psoriasis is no better off. The additional irritation can make the flare-ups worse. The change between warm indoor temperatures and cold outdoor temperatures can also put a strain on the skin.

Another reason is the lower UV radiation after the change of season. UV radiation has an anti-inflammatory effect, which is why sufferers often have less of a problem with the disease in summer. If the hours of sunshine decrease in the fall, inflammation can occur more easily. Nevertheless, it is essential to use suitable sun protection both in summer and at other times of the year.

Autumn and winter are also the season for colds. Psoriasis can also be exacerbated by infections, as the immune system is compromised. Psoriasis is caused by a disorder in the immune system and can therefore worsen if other illnesses such as infections affect it.

Skin care for psoriasis

Both healthy skin and diseased skin should be given special care in fall and winter. Oily creams are particularly suitable for psoriasis, as they are absorbed slowly into the skin and also remain on the skin for a long time. This ensures care over a longer period of time. In addition, the moisture content and oil film are optimized to make the skin more resistant to external influences.

Furthermore, the skin should be cleaned regularly and thoroughly, but not too aggressively. Ideally, mild cleansing products should be used that are tailored to the skin type and are non-irritating. Do not spend too long in the water when showering or bathing. Prolonged bathing in hot water can stress and dry out the skin in the long term. It is therefore advisable to shower for ten to 15 minutes at a maximum temperature of around 36 degrees.

Drink a lot

Dry and stressed skin can also be nourished from the inside out. Adequate hydration can help to improve the skin’s moisture content. Suitable drinks are mainly water and unsweetened teas. Warming teas are particularly useful in cool temperatures.

Choose the right clothing

The skin – especially the areas where the psoriasis plaques are located – should be protected from the cold. This can easily be achieved with suitable clothing. However, care should also be taken to ensure that breathable fabrics are worn. Heat and moisture also quickly irritate the skin. If the fabrics do not allow good air circulation, heat can build up.

Reduce or avoid stress

Another tip to counteract an exacerbation of psoriasis in fall and winter is to reduce possible stress factors. Prolonged stress has a negative effect on general health and is considered one of the main triggers for psoriasis flare-ups. Targeted relaxation exercises and conscious time-outs promote physical and mental well-being. The psoriasis flare-ups then usually subside more quickly or do not become so severe in the first place.

Psoriasis therapy with creams (local therapy)

In the fall and winter, psoriasis therapy should also be followed conscientiously and thoroughly. For mild psoriasis, a cream containing cortisone and/or so-called vitamin D analogs is usually applied to the affected areas to care for and soothe the skin. The areas can also be treated with UV light. Light therapy has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Systemic therapy for psoriasis

For moderate to severe psoriasis, systemic therapy may be an option in addition to local therapy. This means that not only a specific area is treated directly, but the entire body. The active substances suppress the immune system (immunosuppressants) to reduce the inflammatory reactions in the body.

In our practice, both local therapy with creams and systemic treatment are available. In a personal consultation, Dr. Kors examines which measures are suitable in each individual case and provides patients with detailed information.

Save-the-Date: World Psoriasis Day on October 29

October 29 is World Psoriasis Day. Information events are intended to raise general awareness of the disease and provide a platform for exchange. Even though psoriasis therapy has made great strides in recent decades to ensure a better quality of life for those affected, the measures are not yet available to all patients or they simply do not know that they exist. Further information on World Psoriasis Day, which is being held this year under the motto “Being united – united without borders”, is available on the following website: https://www.weltpsoriasistag.de/ .

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