July 27, 2021

Psoriasis in the summer, between embarrassment and “solar” benefits: advice


Over two and a half million Italians suffer from psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory disease for which there are many effective therapies, but not yet a definitive cure (although new therapies have recently been approved that can completely regress the lesions). The warm season is generally a difficult time for the sick because they discover that they end up showing patches on the skin, but also a period to be exploited for the beneficial effects that can be had: the combination of sun and sea is in fact a winning combination because the action of water and rays contributes greatly to regress injuries. Precautions are needed forever and it is essential to have a constant dialogue with the dermatologist to better calibrate the treatments based on the progress of the disease and the needs of the individual person.

Is the sun, by the sea or in the mountains, always good for those suffering from psoriasis?
In the vast majority of patients with psoriasis, the sun can offer clinical benefit up to the disappearance, in very mild cases, of skin lesions – answers Ketty Peris, president of the Italian Society of Medical, Surgical, Aesthetic Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (Sidemast) -. In fact, UV radiation (the so-called UVB narrow band) are used precisely for the therapy of psoriasis. However, there is a share of patients who get worse in the sun and this is important to consider when choosing the treatment: therefore it is good that patients talk to the dermatologist and inquire about what to do in case they notice an aggravation of the lesions.

Creams, lotions, gels or drugs: do you need special precautions in the heat?
Many local therapies can also be used during the summer: a suggestion is to apply them in the evening or to use them in the week every other day (always in the evening), while in the morning use a medium or high protection sunscreen, says Peris, who also Full Professor of Dermatology and Director of Dermatology at the Catholic University, Gemelli University Hospital Foundation in Rome.

Hair removal, for males and females: are there any contraindications?
Hair removal almost always causes skin irritation especially in people with psoriasis because it represents a trauma, even if minimal. Although there are no absolute contraindications, it is advisable not to do hair removal the day before exposure to the sun and apply soothing creams immediately after having done it and in the following 2 days.

Sea, lake, swimming pool and lots of showers: does water keep the skin hydrated or too many baths dry it?
The water dehydrates so much that, when you get out of the shower or a bath, those with dry skin feel it “pulling”. So it’s the showers, but it’s important to hydrate well immediately afterwards. This applies in any season of the year. Finally, at the concentrations used by law in swimming pools, chlorine does not create particular problems for psoriatic skin, but it can always cause dryness and irritation that can be avoided by applying emollient creams after swimming.

July 21, 2021 (change July 21, 2021 | 19:55)

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