The Surprising Connection Between Psoriasis and Autumn

The end of summer signals a return to school, changes in leaf colors, and a new nip in the morning air. The arrival of fall can also bring new phenomenon that are not always welcome. Those who suffer from the skin condition psoriasis often experience an increase in unpleasant symptoms. Here's what to know about the surprising connection between psoriasis and the arrival of autumn and winter.

The end of summer signals a return to school, changes in leaf colors, and a new nip in the morning air. The arrival of fall can also bring new phenomenon that are not always welcome. Those who suffer from the skin condition psoriasis often experience an increase in unpleasant symptoms. Here's what to know about the surprising connection between psoriasis and the arrival of autumn and winter.


Those Symptoms Aren't in Your Head


Typical symptoms of psoriasis include patches of red inflamed skin on your body and scalp, loose silver scales on your skin, and discolored or pitted toe and fingernails. Some people report an increase in their psoriasis symptoms at the end of summer as autumn and winter approach. 


Worse symptoms and flare-ups aren't just in your head.  Aggravated symptoms mean an increase in the severity and redness of skin rashes, or plaques, which grow larger and spread. Rashes may crack and bleed. Toe and fingernails start to crumble or detach from the nail bed.


Environment Plays a Big Role


Physical changes in your environment, like changes in weather, are frequently the triggers responsible for worse symptoms that affect the way your skin feels. Your psoriasis acts up because fall and winter are notorious for drier air and lower levels of exposure to the sun's ultra violet light. Here's how dry air and UV exposure has an impact on psoriasis flare-ups.


Dry Air

Cooler fall and winter months typically see an overall drop in humidity levels. Additionally, people tend to stay indoors during cold weather where interior climates are heated and dry. Your skin may see an increase in dryness-related psoriasis symptoms during fall and winter.


UV Light

UV light slows down and limits the growth of skin cells that lead to plaque formation. Your skin likely experiences less exposure to UV light in the fall and winter when you remain indoors to avoid cold temperatures. When you do venture outside, you're well bundled against the cold and snow. As a result, less UV light reaches your skin.


Alleviate Fall and Winter Psoriasis Flare-ups


Fortunately, you are not helpless against the effects of fall and winter psoriasis flare-ups. You can enjoy the changing of the seasons with fewer flare-ups when you make a few simple adjustments.



  • Use a humidifier in your home to add a little more moisture to that dry, heated interior. Let the humidifier run all day to maintain an even level of humidity, even if you leave the house for work.
  • If you can, run a humidifier at work to help combat dryness around the clock.
  • Use moisturizers and lotions especially recommended for psoriasis. Consider a soak in the tub with olive oil, mineral oil, or Epsom salt and then immediately apply lotion afterward.
  • Increase the amount of UV light your skin receives with UV treatments or phototherapy when you cannot go outside.


Remember that itchy wool clothes synonymous with warm winter wear are not the best choice for you. Instead, wear several light layers of clothing made from plant fibers like cotton that don't overheat your skin. Stay away from wool and synthetics that can stick painfully to skin.


Watch Out For Additional Seasonal Triggers


In addition to dry air and less UV ray exposure, there are other triggers in the fall and winter months that worsen psoriasis.  Bacterial and viral infections common in the winter can bring on a flare-up because they impact your immune system. To help your body fight off germs and the illness they cause, strive to eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep.


Additionally, keep in mind that good stress management is ideal, as holiday stress exacerbates psoriasis.


Your physician can help you with additional remedies to lessen symptoms during the fall and winter. Visit us at Meadowbrook Urgent Care when you have concerns about your psoriasis flare-ups.

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