Don’t let psoriasis flare-ups ruin your winter. Learn the triggers and how to treat this potentially debilitating condition.
Winter is the time where your skin dries up. Since the moisture in the air is low during the colder months, it’s easier for skin to get dry and crack. For most people, keeping some lotion or skin cream on hand is enough. For people suffering from psoriasis, it’s a different, more painful story.
Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes dry, scaly, itchy skin patches. These skin patches appear in waves or cycles, flaring up for a few weeks or months before going away. The pain level from these flare-ups can range from slightly annoying to completely unbearable.
To make matters worse, triggers abound for psoriasis this time of year. The cold is a big one. Plus, flare-ups happen when you’re stressed, and all the running around and preparing for the holidays doesn’t help with stress levels one bit. Also, psoriasis is theorized to be an immune system issue, so any sort of infection can trigger a flare-up. Since winter is cold and flu season, you know what that means: winter is the perfect storm for psoriasis flare-ups.
Most people with psoriasis develop plaque psoriasis. The American Academy of Dermatology describes these as “patches of thick, raised skin called plaques” and scale, a silvery-white coating that covers some plaques. These tend to form on the scalp, elbows, knees and lower back, but they can flare up anywhere.
And as tempting as it can be, itching is a no-no. Itching can make the flare-up worse, causing the plaques to thicken.
Psoriasis isn’t contagious, and there’s a strong genetic component to who gets it and who doesn’t. There’s also no cure for psoriasis, but treatment can make flare-ups more bearable.
We offer the XTRAC laser to treat psoriasis. It’s the only FDA cleared excimer laser that clears skin of painful plaques. It works fast, and many patients see flare-ups disappear and go into remission longer after treatment. If you want to get fast, long-lasting relief for a flare-up that’s affecting your day-to-day life, learn more or schedule an appointment here.
Even though summer is turning into fall, UV rays can still damage your skin. You already know that UV rays can cause permanent skin damage, unsightly discoloration, or even cancer, but did you know that protecting your skin with sunscreen should be part of your routine all year?
Although you won’t feel the heat, your skin can still suffer damage from UVB rays. Thanks to reflective surfaces like snow and ice, the damage from these rays can be worse in the winter. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, snow reflects up to 80 percent of all UVB rays, further increasing your chances of getting skin cancer and premature aging.
To protect your skin, clothing is the first line of defense, but you also need a good sunscreen that matches your specific skin type to protect your face. We also have tinted sunscreen that you can use as a foundation for all-day protection! Our sunscreens come in many different SPFs, and they’ll keep you from getting skin damage from UV rays.
Also, did you know that infrared light rays can inflame and damage skin in the winter, too? While its damage can be minimal, new research shows that when infrared is coupled with UV rays, it can maximize skin damage. Thankfully, sunscreens exist that also protect you from infrared and work to repair your skin, too.
If you become a LifeTime Dermatology VIP Member, you’ll receive 10% off ALL Cosmetic Services & Products, including sunscreen, for one year. You can even earn rewards points on your purchases!
As the weather gets colder, your skincare routine should change. While scorching temperatures aren’t a daily concern anymore, UV rays can still damage your skin. Plus, as the temperature drops, your skin could become drier and more susceptible to the effects of aging without the proper care.
Whether you’re raking the yard or planning a ski trip, preventing winter skin dryness can slow aging and keep your skin youthful and radiant. A quality rejuvenating hydrator can smooth out fine lines and help you retain your skin’s moisture. If you have dry skin, a dermal repair cream could give you an extra boost in retaining moisture and smoothness during colder months.
To help you stay ahead of winter and drying skin, SKIN MEDICA has an excellent line of products to protect your skin from winter’s chill. If you become a LifeTime Dermatology VIP Member, you’ll receive 10% off ALL Cosmetic Services & Products, including SKIN MEDICA products, for one year. You can even earn rewards points on your purchases.
Although not a diagnosis found in a medical book, Michigan Winter Skin becomes a reality for most of us once the furnace is turned on in the fall. Dryness and itching of our skin becomes common place.
So what can you do? We typically recommend limiting shower time and keeping the temperature comfortable, but not hot. Use a good moisturizing bar to clean and avoid deodorant soaps. Use a fragrance free moisturizing lotion daily. The best time to apply after you shower and towel dry. There are spray moisturizers available for those hard to reach areas such as your back. Vaseline Intensive Care is one brand.
For a dry nose you can use a saline nasal spray. This is easily found at most pharmacies. Misting each nostril at night before bed is a good habit.
These are good skin care habits to keep all year, but especially as we make it through the winter months.
And by the way, don’t forget the daily SPF on your face! We do need that even in the winter!
Hope you all weather the winter in good spirits and good skin!
Summer is here! I just want to remind you that the best sun protection is sun avoidance and covering up with clothing and hats. When it comes to sunscreens, I prefer physical sunscreens as they sit on the top of the skin and reflect the light, like the “Think Zinc” that we carry in our office. My favorite sunscreen is really a “super screen” that also repairs your skin – “Total Defense & Repair” by SkinMedica. I never go a day without this on my face, neck, chest and the backs of my hands. We also carry several Jane iredale products which contain physical sunscreens, Coolibar hats and Heliocare supplements. Please keep your skin safe over the summer!