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Exercise and psoriasis: break these bad habits

Before you sit in your leggings or roll up your mat in a hot yoga class: Consider the same exercises that keep your weight in check, protect against type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke – all health issues that go hand in hand go with psoriasis-can worsen your skin condition.

Here are seven exercise habits you should avoid if you are one of the 7.5 million adults who have psoriasis.

Choose the wrong workout:If you have psoriasis, not all workouts are the same.

The high heat and high humidity in a hot yoga class can cause a flare-up. The chlorine in a pool can cause the skin to become dry and itchy. The friction of sitting on a bicycle seat or a ballet bar can also irritate the skin, says Rosalyn George MD, founder of the Wilmington Dermatology Center.

But that does not mean you get a free pass just to relax.

“Exercise is so important because it reduces stress and inflammation that can aggravate psoriasis,” says George. ‘Before you rule out a specific exercise, find something you like, and try it a few times to see if it’s a workout that can tolerate your psoriasis.

Wear synthetic fabrics: Polyester and psoriasis do not mix. Synthetic substances trap sweat and can make psoriasis worse. Rather choose moisturizing tissues, says Ross Radusky, MD, a dermatologist at Dermatology Treatment and Research Center.

“If you sweat, the psoriasis plaques will feel more uncomfortable,” he says. “It will prevent you from practicing fully.”

Wear tight clothing: Your favorite leggings and appropriate tanks can rub against scars and make it worse. Friction through tight clothing can also cause new lesions, George says.

Sweat and large T-shirts provide extra space for your skin to breathe, but do not impede your movement.

Dress to impress: It can be hard to show up at a running group in sweat and long sleeves when all the other runners are dressed in athletic pants and sports bras or tanks. But when it comes to exercise, George says comfort is king.

‘You may want more complete coverage so you do not lose skin and feel uncomfortable, [but] “If you do not mind having a plaque on your elbow, wear a shirt with a short sleeve,” she says. “You should wear whatever you feel comfortable with.”

Use dirty equipment: Do not lift weights or jump on the treadmill before wiping it off. One study found 25 different bacteria, including salmonella and staphylococcus, on gym equipment.

Since active psoriasis increases your risk of infection, it is essential to wipe off fitness equipment before starting your workout.

Solar power: Outdoor workouts are great, but sunburn worsens psoriasis. Make sure you apply sunscreen before going out.

Radusky recommends applying a full gram of SPF 30 or higher to all exposed skin, including psoriasis plaques, before going outside. Performance tissues with SPF protection can also help, he says.

A hot shower: A warm shower after a hard workout can feel good, but the higher the temperature of the water, the greater the chance that it will dry your skin. It can also cause inflammation which increases the itching factor.

“Memorial plaques are already very dry,” says Radusky. “Hot water removes even more moisture. A moderate shower temperature is better. ”

After your not-so-hot shower, he says, apply a light, fragrance-free moisturizer that will lubricate the skin and cut the pain, burns and itching associated with psoriasis plaques.

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