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April 13, 2022

Psoriasis in summer – tips for care

Psoriasis treatment Dr Kors Berlin
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Depending on the season, the skin requires different treatment and care. In summer, the main focus of skin health is on sun protection and moisturizing. What special features apply to patients with psoriasis in summer? Are there certain care routines that need to be followed during the warmer months? How do the symptoms manifest themselves in summer?

Psoriasis clinical picture

Psoriasis is a so-called systemic disease. It manifests itself as white-silvery scales on reddened and inflamed skin. One of the causes of psoriasis is thought to be an autoimmune reaction. This means that the body mistakenly directs its protective mechanisms against its own healthy tissue to defend itself against pathogens and cell mutations, for example. The reasons for this have not yet been conclusively clarified.

The process intervenes in cell renewal. Normally, the skin layer renews itself within about 28 days. The uppermost skin cells dry out and are shed almost unnoticed by the body to make room for the fresher skin cells underneath. In psoriasis, this process occurs much faster. Cell division and formation only takes a few days. As a result, the dried skin cells can no longer be shed in time, but accumulate as the typical silvery-white scales (plaques).

Psoriasis often progresses in flare-ups and is usually accompanied by severe itching. In addition, those affected are often ashamed of the conspicuous appearance of their skin – not least because they are sometimes shunned by other people for fear of (not possible) infection.

Milder symptoms in summer

The symptoms of psoriasis vary from person to person. Some people have more frequent and/or more severe relapses, others have milder courses. For many psoriasis patients, however, summertime is a time to breathe a sigh of relief, as the symptoms often subside during the warmer and sunnier months. On the one hand, this is due to the influence of UV radiation, and on the other hand, unlike in winter, the skin is not additionally stressed by dry (heated) air. Nevertheless, UV protection is of course still very important in summer and should not be neglected.

However, even though psoriasis often recedes in summer, this is not necessarily the case for all patients. Relapses can also occur in summer. Some patients even report that they notice the skin disease more clearly in summer than in winter. Injuries or irritations to the skin, such as sunburn, can increase the risk of a psoriasis flare-up.

Why does the sun have a positive effect on psoriasis?

UV rays have an anti-inflammatory effect. This also reduces inflammation in the skin with psoriasis. In addition, cell division is slower due to exposure to the sun’s rays. This is precisely the starting point for psoriasis: the atypically rapid division of skin cells, which ultimately leads to the formation of plaques.

Tips for psoriasis in the summertime 1.Light clothing against friction

With psoriasis, the skin is usually very sensitive and irritated. To avoid further negative influences, care can be taken, for example, to ensure that nothing scratches the skin. In summer, for example, you can choose airier and shorter clothing in warm temperatures so that no fabric rubs against the skin.

Not covering the skin areas with clothing is a small challenge for some psoriasis patients, as they are ashamed of the appearance of their skin. Do not let yourself be unsettled! You don’t have to feel uncomfortable about your skin. In addition, the appropriate therapy can be used to try to control the flare-ups and reduce the symptoms on the skin so that they are less noticeable.

2.Enjoy the sun in moderation – avoid sunburn

As already described, UV radiation often has a positive effect on psoriasis. Nevertheless, it should not be exaggerated. Sun protection is still very important and should never be neglected. Extensive sunbathing is not recommended. Always use a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (50+), ideally a moisturizing cream to additionally soothe the skin. Also avoid spending time in the midday sun, as UV exposure is particularly high there. If you risk sunburn, the psoriasis may even worsen. In addition, the risk of other skin damage and especially skin cancer increases.

3.This is important after bathing

Summertime is bathing season. Whether in the lake, sea or outdoor pool, many people are drawn to the cool water. Even with psoriasis, there is nothing to stop you from getting into the water. However, you should not stay in the water for too long and ideally shower off after being in the water to remove any dirt, salt or chlorine residue from your skin. Dry the skin carefully with a soft towel (do not rub the affected areas too hard) and apply your usual basic skin care.

More information on psoriasis, care and treatment

Would you like to find out more about psoriasis and the treatment options for the disease? Dr. Kors will be happy to advise you in a personal appointment. You can discuss this with our practice team or simply online arrange an appointment.

last update: 22.06.2022

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