In most people, new skin cells grow deep within the skin and mosey on up to the skin's surface in about a month. If you have psoriasis, though, your immune system could kick into overdrive at any given moment and cause those skin cells to rush to the surface of your skin in as little as two days. This expedited process results in a buildup of red, scaly skin cells that both itch and hurt at the same time.
There's good news, though. You can ease the symptoms of a psoriasis flare-up the fun and easy way -- by spending the day relaxing on an ocean beach.
Light Therapy. Ultraviolet B rays have proven to slow the growth of rampant skin cells in people with psoriasis. If you visit your dermatologist regularly, there's a good chance you've seen, if not sat under, a light-emitting machine.
These handy little medical devices aren't the only way to get ultraviolet B rays, though; the sun emits them, too. In fact, according to a team of researchers who studied the use of ultraviolet light in treating jaundice, the sun can be up to 6.5 times more effective than medical light units.
When soaking up the sun at the beach to treat psoriasis, be sure to protect yourself from sunburn by applying plenty of sunscreen to all areas of your skin that are not affected by your skin condition. Spend about 10 minutes in full sun exposure before taking a nice long break in the shade. If your skin seems to be reacting favorably to the treatment, you can gradually increase your exposure time.
Salt Water. The Dead Sea, located between Israel and Jordan, is the saltiest sea on Earth. It's also flocked to by hundreds of skin disorder-sufferers each year because of its amazing healing abilities. An astonishing 60 percent of those afflicted with psoriasis who visit the Dead Sea for at least 10 days, twice a year, report being completely cured of their condition.
Don't worry -- you don't need to visit the Middle East to get some relief from your psoriasis. The sodium content in any body of salt water will soften and slough off your scaly skin cells and temporarily stop your skin from itching.
For optimal results, take a splash at the beach as often as you can and follow each swim with an application of skin moisturizer.
Stress Relief. Perhaps the most satisfying aspect of going to the beach is the ability to relax, unwind, and de-stress. Can relieving stress help your psoriasis symptoms? It sure can. There's a whole new emerging field of dermatology that focuses on the relationship between stress and skin conditions.
As it turns out, your skin physically reacts to stress much like other parts of your body do. Prolonged periods of stress weaken the immune system, and a malfunctioning immune system is the root cause of psoriasis flare-ups. Once a flare-up occurs, it adds to your stress level, thus worsening your psoriasis and creating an endless cycle of stressing and itching.
Just how much does stress come into play in psoriasis sufferers? According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, up to 80 percent of psoriasis sufferers who experience recurring flare-ups may have psychological factors contributing to their condition. With statistics like this, there's never been a better reason to grab your swimsuit or trunks and hit the sandy shores.
Topical creams and ointments aren't the only way to treat psoriasis symptoms -- there are far funner ways. If you're experiencing a flare-up, ease your itching, inflamed skin by enjoying some fun in the sun at your nearest ocean beach after speaking with your dermatologist about this additional way to treat your skin irritation.