Living with psoriasis
Can I go to a swimming pool if I have psoriasis?
Using a swimming pool is not contraindicated in psoriasis. However, the skin areas affected by psoriasis are more sensitive and susceptible to drying, especially when exposed to water with chlorine. You may either reduce the time spent in water or use emollients immediately after leaving the swimming pool.
Still, you have to be prepared for various reactions of people. You can be asked unpleasant questions or hear comments from people you meet at the swimming pool. You should perhaps inform the swimming pool manager that you have psoriasis, which can be unpleasant to look at, but is not contagious.
Which of the seasons is the most neutral for patients?
There is no simple answer to this question. Weather may to some degree exacerbate the symptoms of psoriasis, but reactions to the same weather conditions may vary from one person to another. Some patients feel their symptoms improve during the summer because of more sun exposure, other patients feel better during the winter season. In any case, patients may use preventive measures to minimize the impact of environmental factors on their health.
Spring and Summer – if your symptoms worsen during the warm season, you should:
- Reduce sun exposure. Anyone can get sunburnt, however, fair-skinned people are more prone to it than darker-skinned individuals. Remember! Sun permeates through the glass, clouds, water, and thin clothes. Even if you remain in the shade, you are not fully protected against the sun because sun rays can be reflected from water, etc.
- Be careful – some medicines may increase your sensitivity to the sun. Make sure to always carefully read the package leaflet and consult a doctor or pharmacist if you are in doubt. If, according to the accompanying package leaflet the product you use increases sensitivity to the sun, you should limit the time you spend in the sunshine.
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Reapply it regularly during the day.
Note: chemicals in swimming pools and salt contained in sea water can irritate or dry your skin. Dry your skin and apply moisturiser and sunscreen.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothes to allow air circulation and evaporation of sweat. If your feet are affected by psoriasis, wear comfortable shoes or sandals large enough for you to feel comfortable when your feet are swollen during hot weather.
Winter and Autumn – if you feel your psoriasis flares up during the cold months, your should:
- Reduce room heating at night (cooler air will not dry your skin).
- Drink plenty of water (min. 2 L a day).
- Apply moisturising body balm after shower or bath.
- Use gentle body cleanser and preferably take a short warm shower instead of a long hot bath.
- Make sure you get enough rest and eat a healthy diet. Ask your doctor if your need a seasonal influenza vaccine
- Use sunscreens (min. SPF 15) if your skin is exposed to the sun, strong wind, and low temperatures. Remember that the sun in winter can be more dangerous than in the summer because sun rays are reflected from the snow, which makes the radiation more intense.