What Is Psoriasis And Why Does It Flare Up In The Summer?

Psoriasis is a skin condition that ranges from being a mild inconvenience to having a major impact on a person’s quality of life.

Psoriasis is a skin condition that ranges from being a mild inconvenience to having a major impact on a person’s quality of life. It’s estimated that around 2% of people in the western world are affected, with symptoms typically presenting as red, flaky, crusty patches of skin that are covered in silver-colored scales. 

One thing that many sufferers experience is the condition worsening during the summer months. The following delves into the etiology behind this and what can be done to help reduce flare ups.

All About Psoriasis 

  • What is Psoriasis?
  • What causes Psoriasis flare ups? 

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic condition that, if you suffer from it, tends to go through periods of flare-up and calm throughout your life. It’s caused by an overproduction of skin cells and is believed to be caused by an immune system issue. 

Normally, skin cells are made and replaced over 3-4 weeks. If you have psoriasis, this same process only takes around 3-7 days, causing patches of red, flaky skin. It’s often a hereditary condition. While the understanding of the condition is still not fully understood, it often begins or worsens due to a trigger, such as a throat infection, skin trauma, or the use of certain drugs.

Diagnosis is usually made through the appearance of the skin, but in some cases, a biopsy might be performed.

What causes Psoriasis flare ups?

Psoriasis is often seasonal, with flare ups being particularly common during the summer. This is because heat and humidity provide excellent growth conditions for new skin cells. Those who live in hotter climates will often find the problem worsens at this time. 

Stress is also a trigger, making it well worth taking the time for self-care and relaxation. Many sufferers find regular meditation helps to keep stress levels under control.

Management of Psoriasis

  • How to reduce the chances of Psoriasis flare ups
  • How to treat Psoriasis flare ups

How to reduce the chances of Psoriasis flare ups

While there is currently no cure, there are many things that can reduce the chances of flare ups. These include:

  • Avoid wearing synthetic fabric or wool
  • Wear cotton and dress in layers
  • Avoid overly hot water—take lukewarm showers and baths
  • Wear sunscreen and use bug repellant
  • Use unfragranced cosmetic products
  • Shower immediately after swimming
  • Use good quality moisturizers to ensure the skin remains well hydrated
  • Avoid certain foods that might increase inflammation (or reduce consumption of them). These include sugar, heavily processed foodstuffs, and red meat
  • Increase foods with anti-inflammatory properties, such as fish, olive oil, and plant-based foods
  • Try to avoid getting sick. Because psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, those who suffer are often more susceptible to illness. Simple ways to help keep healthy include frequent hand washing/using hand sanitizer, avoid being around those who are sick, and be sure to get your flu shots and any other necessary vaccinations—including COVID 19.

How to treat Psoriasis flare ups

Flare ups require further treatment, some of which might need to be prescribed by a doctor or dermatologist. Topical skin treatments tend to be the first option for mild to moderate flare ups. These might include retinoids, corticosteroids, or calcineurin inhibitors. Moisturizers that contain salicylic acid or coal tar are also used.

For more severe flares, other medication might be necessary, such as immunosuppressants or biologics. Other options include phototherapy or other UV-based treatments that help the skin recover.

Want Expert Advice on Psoriasis and Flare Ups? Contact Bayou City Dermatology Today

At Bayou City Dermatology we’ve got years of experience helping those with Psoriasis manage their condition. No matter whether your condition is mild, intermittent, severe, or life-changing, we can help define the right treatment for your needs.

Visit https://www.bayoucitydermatology.com to find out more and book your Psoriasis appointment today.