Psoriasis affects around 3% of the Italian population, and it has a huge impact on the quality of life of patients. As Professor Antonio Costanzo, Supervisor of Dermatology at Humanitas, explained, “Psoriasis can’t be considered any more a disease that only affects the skin. On the contrary, it is a full-fledged systemic disease, because it involves many organs and apparatuses. In fact, it has been known for some time that patients suffering from psoriasis risk developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, depression and especially arthritis, due to the chronic inflammation they have”.
Professor Costanzo also wrote some tips on “Corriere Della Sera” for patients with psoriasis who want to enjoy a vacation.
Drink Enough Water
Drinking at least two litres of water per day contributes to the good health of your skin barrier. Moreover, it is important to apply moisturizers after a shower, in order to help delay the return of the symptoms and help the sun remove the psoriatic patches one still has.
Ask your Dermatologist About the Therapy
Biological medications have no sun-related side effects, but they may react badly with some systemic medications. In fact, some of them require special attention. For example, the simultaneous use of sunscreen or a different dosage, while other medications are simply incompatible with biological ones. In fact, some therapies may have photosensitizing effects, while sunburns can stimulate the development of new patches.
Sunburns have to be completely avoided.
The Benefits of the sun
Exposure to the sun is good for patients with psoriasis. “In fact, ultraviolet light is a powerful cutaneous immunosuppressant. It kills T-cells (the immune system cells that penetrate skin and cause psoriatic patches) and deactivates other immune system cells that help T-cells maintain the inflammation”.
Sunlight also contributes to the production of endorphins, with important benefits on our mood and stress reduction, and also on the disappearance of psoriatic patches.
Pay Attention to Traumas
In addition to sunburns, also bug bites, jellyfish stings and tumbles may favor the appearance of psoriatic patches in the area where the trauma took place. In these cases, you should immediately apply a cortisone cream in order to prevent having psoriatic patches. “It’s even better to prevent the trauma with low-DEET repellants or citronella candles. Psoriatic lesions generally appear 10 to 14 days after the skin trauma. If you get bit, pay attention to your skin”, Prof. Costanzo recommends.
At the Swimming pool
Chlorine may have a slight irritating effect, but it does not determine new lesions. You should apply a barrier cream before swimming, and then wash up with a delicate detergent and hydrate your skin.