For those of us who live where it’s cold and rainy or snowy in the winter, the season can be responsible for attacks of dry, itchy and very uncomfortable skin. But for the 7.5 million Americans who live with psoriasis, itchy winter skin can be a sign of a flare-up of their condition.
Could you have psoriasis?
It’s a disease of the immune system that runs in families, and can affect not only your skin, but also your nails and sometimes your joints. Psoriasis causes your skin cells to grow faster than your body can shed them, producing patches of dry, scaly skin where those dead skin cells build up.
Plaque psoriasis is most common
This type of psoriasis causes red, raised patches, covered with a white buildup of itchy, dead skin cells that can crack and bleed.
How psoriasis is triggered
You can trigger your first, or subsequent, bouts of psoriasis by:
• An injury to your skin
• Severe sunburn
• Allergic reaction to stress, smoking or cold weather
Controlling psoriasis by avoiding foods that can cause inflammation
Avoid dairy products and foods that are high in:
• Saturated and trans fats
• Refined starches
Although there are no scientific studies that have directly linked certain foods to psoriasis, some research has shown that a healthy diet can improve the condition.
Keeping a food journal can help you track the foods and ingredients that seem to bring on the condition.
Psoriasis doesn’t have to be a life sentence
Even though it’s an inherited disease, you don’t have to live with constantly uncomfortable, even painful, skin. We can offer you effective treatments and methods for avoiding outbreaks.
See your doctor regularly
Along with the annoyance, pain and embarrassment caused by the disease, people with psoriasis can be at a higher risk for:
• Cardiovascular disease (such as heart attacks and stroke)
• Certain types of cancers (such as lymphoma, prostate and skin cancer)
So patients with psoriasis must maintain a healthy physical and mental lifestyle, including regular doctor exams.
Learn more about your itchy skin by calling for an appointment today: (210) 692-3000 or (210) 370-9995.