What Is a Flare?
A flare is when you have increased inflammation and the symptoms of your psoriatic disease get worse. This could mean symptoms showing up in new locations or symptoms becoming more severe. Flares can be long or short in duration, mild or severe, frequent or rare. Some people may not experience noticeable flares but more of a constant level of symptoms.
What Can Trigger a Flare?
A trigger is anything that causes symptoms to increase. Triggers vary from person to person, so what triggers a flare for one person may not produce a flare in another. The weather, for example, may trigger a flare. Warm weather often can improve psoriasis when there is more natural sunlight and higher humidity. It also may lessen joint pain and stiffness for those with PsA. However, the warm weather and some warm weather activities, like walking, hiking or swimming, may trigger a flare.
Tips for the Hot Weather Months
Enjoy the Sunshine
Some people see improvements in their psoriasis during summer because there is more natural ultraviolet light (sunshine). Make sure to put sunscreen on all your exposed skin, including your psoriasis plaques, to prevent sunburn, which may make your psoriasis worse. Talk to your dermatologist about sunscreen recommendations for your psoriasis. Look for sunscreen that:
- Has “broad spectrum” on the label, indicating that it protects against UVA and UVB rays
- Has 30 or greater SPF
- Is made for sensitive skin and is fragrance-free