Spring is a great time to refresh and rethink your treatment routine.
March 20 marked the first day of spring this year. After what felt like the longest, coldest winter ever in New Jersey, I’m relieved to finally see signs of spring.
Despite how much I’m enjoying the warmer weather and longer days, navigating the change of seasons when living with psoriasis can be a challenge. Temperature fluctuations and shifts in humidity can impact skin.
Spring is a great time to refresh and rethink your routines. In consideration of the new season, I put together a few things I’ve learned about reenergizing and adapting my psoriasis management routine for spring weather.
The change of seasons is a good time to reevaluate whether your psoriasis treatment plan is working or if it needs an adjustment. Maybe this means making an appointment with your dermatologist. Also, there’s no worry about frozen weather conditions to drive through.
Usually, in the winter, I apply layers of moisturizer and gel oil on my skin every night after I shower to lock in the moisture. When the weather begins getting warmer, I can choose just one layer, because my skin doesn’t need as much extra hydration.
Of course, it’s important to keep your skin moisturized regardless of the season, but I find I can get by with fewer layers of product during the warmer months.
Winter weather can leave the scalp itchier and hair very dry. With spring, I find that leaving my hat at home really lets my scalp breathe in the fresh air.
When my psoriasis is flaring, sometimes even putting on clothes can hurt.
With winter shifting to spring, I’m happy to put away all of my heavy warm clothes and replace them with lighter, more breathable fabrics.
The fabrics next to your skin can irritate and affect the severity of a flare.
When getting dressed, opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics. I also try to avoid synthetic materials and anything too tight.
Some psoriasis-friendly fabrics include cotton, linen, and silk. The softer, the better!
Even on days when it’s still chilly out, I find wearing layers of lighter clothing still keeps me warm enough without being too irritating to my skin.
When the seasons change, I try to incorporate fresh seasonal ingredients into my meals. With warmer weather, my family tends to start eating lighter meals rather than richer, comfort foods. The farmer’s market in our town also starts up, so we can get fruit and veggies directly from the nearby farms.
In spring, I have an easier time finding delicious in-season produce high in anti-inflammatory properties.
Because psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes chronic inflammation, eating foods that combat inflammation can help ease symptoms. Some of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods include:
For me, clutter increases my feelings of anxiety and can leave me feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Stress is believed to be linked to psoriasis flares.
The change of seasons is a great time to get organized and start getting rid of some of that clutter, whether that’s physical or mental clutter.
Do you have skin care products piling up that you tried and didn’t like? Are you holding onto clothing you never wear because it irritates your skin? Give yourself permission to toss them.
For me, mental clutter seems to cause me more stress than physical clutter.
I often feel overwhelmed with my daily to-dos and busy routine. When I’m overwhelmed, my mind swirls, and I have trouble focusing on all of the things I need to do. I often freeze and shut down in those moments and have a hard time getting anything accomplished at all.
I’ve started writing everything down in a calendar or planner. Even the small things on my to-do list go down on paper.
When I can see my tasks all laid out in front of me, I can prioritize more urgent tasks and pencil in the rest. Then, the smaller things don’t easily slip through the cracks.
It’s also a great feeling to see the progress when you cross things off the list. Keeping a planner also helps me make sure I’m not taking on too much, and I can see when I need to schedule breaks or time for self-care.
With nature blooming and temperatures rising, it’s a great time to take your exercise outside. Although more research is needed, exercise and vitamin D may even help reduce the severity of a psoriasis flare.
I love finding new walking trails to see how the world is blooming and getting its color back. On other days, I pump some air into my bike tires and go for a spin around the neighborhood.
Winter can feel long and isolating with the cold weather and dreary gray days. Having more opportunities to get outside and fit in some movement can benefit you mentally and physically.
Any change of season is time for reflection and resetting. Embrace and celebrate the ways that you choose to welcome this beautiful new season.
Fact checked on April 18, 2022
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