4 Tips to Weather the Winter with Psoriasis


Linda Wasmer Andrews

Was this helpful? (16)
This content is created by Healthgrades and brought to you by an advertising sponsor. More

This content is created or selected by the Healthgrades editorial team and is funded by an advertising sponsor. The content is subject to the Healthgrades medical review process for accuracy, balance and objectivity. The content is not edited or otherwise influenced by the advertisers appearing on this page except with the possible suggestion of the broad topic area. For more information, read the Healthgrades advertising policy.

PHYSICIAN CONTRIBUTOR couple-holding-hands-outside

FAQs About Moderate To Severe Psoriasis

Get to know the basics of psoriasis from a practicing dermatologist.
smiling man in winter weather ready for hike with friends

Fire up the furnace and unpack your parka—winter is here. And for many people with psoriasis, so is an increase in bothersome symptoms. The dry air in heated homes and offices can cause itching. Heavy jackets and scratchy sweaters can lead to skin irritation. And shorter days mean less exposure to the sun’s beneficial rays. But don’t despair. These tips can help you weather the winter in comfort.

1. Humidify indoor air

Heated indoor air can be downright Sahara-like. The low humidity can lead to dry, itchy skin. And scratching, in turn, can make your psoriasis worse or even bring on new lesions. Using a humidifier at home and work puts moisture back in the air, helping prevent such problems.

 2. Moisturize to winterize

Slathering on moisturizer is another way to combat dry, itchy skin, and it also helps reduce scaling and inflammation. Lay it on thick, especially on areas affected by psoriasis. Many people apply a lotion in the morning and a thicker cream or ointment at night. And, after a bath or shower, gently pat your skin dry, then smooth on moisturizer while your skin is still damp

3. Layer cotton clothing

That puffy down parka or heavy wool sweater may seem cozy—until it aggravates your psoriasis. You’ll be more comfortable if you choose cotton clothing and dress in light layers. If you really want to wear a favorite sweater or jacket, put a soft cotton T-shirt underneath.

 4. Soak up some rays

The ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight can penetrate the skin and suppress the processes that set off psoriasis. As a result, there’s less scaling and inflammation. Many people find that short, nonburning exposures to sunlight clear up or improve their psoriasis in summer. But in winter, getting enough sun may not be practical. In such cases, treatment with artificial UV light is often a good alternative. Ask your doctor if this type of treatment is right for you. 

Was this helpful? (16)
Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Apr 17, 2017

© 2018 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

View Sources

Medical References

  1. Ask the Expert. National Psoriasis Foundation. https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/ask-the-expert
  2. Frequently Asked Questions: Psoriasis in the spring, summer, fall and winter. National Psoriasis Foundation. https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/faqs/weather
  3. Psoriasis. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/m---p/psoriasis
  4. Questions and Answers About Psoriasis. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Psoriasis/default.asp

Your opinion matters!

Please fill out this short, 1-3 minute survey about Treating Your Psoriasis Effectively. Your answers are anonymous and will not be linked to you personally.

The survey will appear at the end of your visit.

Thank you!

A survey will be presented to you after you finish viewing our Treating Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Effectively content.

You Might Also Like