ointment
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Seal in Moisture

Dry air creates dry skin, which can trigger flares. To lock in moisture, choose thick ointments instead of thin lotions. Apply as soon as you can after a bath or shower to keep the most moisture in your skin.

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woman drinking water
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Drink More Water

Keep hydration at a high during cold, dry months so your body and skin stay happy. If you aren't in the water habit, use a prop. Carry a container you can refill while you’re on the go. How much do you need? Eight 8-ounce glasses a day is a good goal. Men need about 120 cups of fluid a day, and women around 90. But that includes more than water. You get fluid from foods and other drinks as well.

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humidifier
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Use a Humidifier

Does the air in your house feel dry? Turn on a humidifier in the rooms you use most (bedroom is a best bet) to create a moister environment for your skin.

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winter clothes
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Dress in Layers

It’s tempting to throw on a super-bulky coat when temps are low, but multiple layers are best to keep you and your skin warm and happy. The layer that touches your body should be soft, breathable cotton that doesn’t scratch or itch.

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vaccine
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Get a Flu Shot

Winter is prime flu season. Psoriasis and the medications you might take for it can make you more likely to get sick, so a flu shot is extra important. Sometimes, injections like the flu shot can cause a psoriasis reaction, so talk to your doctor before you get vaccinated.

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man meditating
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Scale Back Your Stress

Pair the cold, dry winter climate with the busy holiday season and you have a recipe for psoriasis plaque attacks. Dial down stress any way you can: Don’t overdo rich foods and drinks, don’t cram your schedule full, and try relaxing practices like meditation or deep breathing to increase your calm.

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person washing hands
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Avoid Harsh Soaps

Use a gentle, moisturizing cleanser instead of a skin-stripping soap when you wash up. Say no to scented products, too. Fragrance-free options are the most skin-friendly.

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woman doing crunches
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Stay Active

A workout a day keeps psoriasis flares away. Don’t let frigid temperatures get in the way of your regular exercise routine. Join a gym, pop in a fitness DVD, or walk laps at the mall to keep your blood pumping, muscles moving, and body healthy.

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woman looking out window
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Monitor Mental Health

Psoriasis can trigger depression. So can the shorter days of winter. Be on the lookout for signs that you aren’t yourself, like a lack of interest in activities, low energy, or irritability. Talk to your doctor about possible treatments.

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woman after bath
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Skip the Shower

Showers can strip your skin dry, especially when you use hot water. Choose baths over showers, and dial back the temperature of your soak. You’ll lose the dirt but keep the moisture.

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winter boots
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Keep Out the Cold

Cover up whatever you can to shield your skin from cold air. Wear a scarf to protect your face and neck, gloves to warm your hands, and a hat to keep your scalp covered. Consider waterproof boots so your feet stay dry and toasty.

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 11/28/2018 Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on November 28, 2018

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SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: “Are triggers causing your psoriasis flare-ups?”

Psoriasis Connect: “Weather and psoriasis.”
Mayo Clinic: “Depression (major depressive disorder),” “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD),” “Water: How much should you drink every day?”
Psoriasis Association: “Managing Psoriasis in the Winter.”

National Psoriasis Foundation: “Frequently Asked Questions: Psoriasis in spring, summer, fall and winter,” “How psoriasis triggers depression – and how to stop it,” “Managing Itch,” “’Tis the season to be stress-free.”

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on November 28, 2018

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.