Many people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) notice that their symptoms get better or worse based on the weather. But it affects everyone differently.

If you notice that how you feel changes with the weather, tell your doctor. The more they know about what you're going through, the better they can help you.

Weather and Psoriasis

There are conditions that can change how your psoriasis affects you. They include:

Cold. When the temperature dips, it can dry and irritate your skin. That can lead to a flare. To lessen the chances of that, make sure to wear a hat, gloves, waterproof boots, and a warm jacket when the thermometer outside your window goes low.

Sun. Some people think their psoriasis gets better when they’re out in the sun. This may well be the case, because ultraviolet (UV) light can slow down the excess growth of skin cells. That can help your body make less plaque.

Start with short amounts of time in the sunshine to see if that helps, and always wear sunscreen on areas that aren’t affected. Use one that’s SPF 30 or higher. And be careful not to stay out in the sun too long. Even a slight sunburn could have the opposite effect and make your psoriasis worse. Too much UV light can also lead to other health problems like skin cancer.

Heat. A flare can come about if you get overheated, or if you sweat. When it gets warm, try and stay cool with a fan or air conditioning. But be careful. Air conditioning can dry out your skin, which can bring a flare. So make sure to keep moisturizer on hand if you're spending a lot of time in air-conditioned spaces like your home, office, or car.

Dry air. This makes your skin dry, which can bring on a psoriasis flare. Dry air often goes hand in hand with lower temps and less sunlight, but air conditioning can have the same effect.

A humidifier in your home or office can help, and it’s a good idea to limit showers to no more than 10 minutes with warm, not hot, water. Use a gentle cleanser rather than soap. Once you get out, pat your skin dry and use a thick cream to lock in moisture.

Weather and Psoriatic Arthritis

If you have psoriatic arthritis, some conditions may affect your joints, including:

Changes in air pressure. When a cold or warm front is headed your way, the barometric pressure (pressure caused by the weight of the air) changes. This can make tissues throughout your body bigger or smaller, and that can put painful pressure on your muscles and nerves. Even a small change in air pressure can trigger an arthritis flare-up.

But it doesn’t last. Once new weather arrives, your pain should ease up.

Cold. It’s not an old wives’ tale that people with arthritis “feel the cold coming on.” Cold weather may make it feel as if the fluid in your joints is thicker. This makes them stiffer than normal and more painful to move.

Humidity. Many people notice that rainy or muggy weather makes their joints stiff and achy. Some people with PsA feel humid weather affects them as much as very dry air. But more research is need to back that up. Humid, cold weather may be the worst combo for your joints.

Stay up to date on your local forecast. That'll help you prepare for whatever Mother Nature might have in store for you.

WebMD Medical Reference

WebMD Voices

Jaime Lyn M., 42
Detroit
Living with psoriatic arthritis is like playing Pac-Man. You gobble up dots (do your daily activities) before the ghosts (psoriatic arthritis symptoms) get you. Cherries are like medicine -- they turn the ghosts invisible for a little while.
Cynthia C., 50
Moreno Valley, CA
I thought that exercising would increase the pain in my hips, but movement has actually decreased the inflammation and has increased my mobility. Now I take two walks daily.
Michele S., 68
Cornville, AZ
While others may not be able to understand fully the pain and challenges you face, it doesn’t mean they can’t care. Talk openly and share your struggles and strengths with those who ask.
Cynthia C., 50
Moreno Valley, CA
Don't let pain keep you from moving your body. Start slow by doing what you can, even just 5-minute walks. Then make it a daily habit and increase as your body allows.
Josh B., 39
Tampa, FL
My chronic pain got so bad that I couldn't hold a pencil. My wife and I decided as a team that the potential benefit to my quality of life was worth the risk of trying a biologic. Two weeks later, I was able to resume my normal work routine.
Jaime Lyn M., 42
Detroit
Psoriatic arthritis is the hidden component of the psoriasis that people can't see. I try and educate everyone I can on the chronic pain so they understand what I deal with, often daily.
Chad V., 42
Atlanta
I've been on several different medications, all with their pros and cons, but thanks to trial and error, my skin is now clear and I can move. It’s worth pushing through until you find the treatment you need.
Rich W., 57
South Brunswick Township, NJ
When trying something new, tell your doctor about anything that comes up. Do blood tests on a regular basis. And give treatments time to work -- it can sometimes take months to see a change.
Amie R., 33
Maricopa, AZ
I’ve been able to connect with so many people going through what I’m going through because of social media. It’s so helpful to talk to others who understand not only the physical toll, but the emotional toll this condition can take.
Amie R., 33
Maricopa, AZ
I was so used to covering my psoriasis up, I thought I could mask the arthritis, too. But soon, both elbows were an issue and my fingers and knees were swelling. Don’t put off treating your symptoms in hopes that they’ll go away. Get the help you need.
Chad V., 42
Atlanta
I ignored my symptoms because I was embarrassed. Now I allow anyone and everyone to see me for me and my struggles because I know I'm not alone. It’s lifted a huge burden off my shoulders and makes days with flares much easier.
Josh B., 39
Tampa, FL
I would encourage anyone with this disease to explore support options, like those available through the National Psoriasis Foundation. It could change your life!

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