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.