• Winter To Do List for Psoriasis Patients

    Here are a few things to think about as the days grow shorter and the weather grows colder.

    FLU SHOT

    It is flu season, and that means it is time to get your flu shot. If you are on an immune suppressing medication – including a biologic injection or infusion, methotrexate or prednisone – you should get the flu shot, NOT the flu mist nasal spray. The shot uses dead virus, while the mist uses live but weakened virus. But the experts insist it is wise to get a flu shot.

    For more information, read the U.S. government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s web page on arthritis and the flu. The discussion is generally applicable to psoriatic arthritis and even many psoriasis patients.

    MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT

    The annual Medicare Open Enrollment period runs from October 15 through December 7. This is the time for Medicare beneficiaries to make sure their current plan still meets their needs; for example, whether any prescription coverage is best for the prescription medications they expect to be taking in the coming year.

    You can compare prices, make sure your psoriasis meds are covered by your plan, and figure out which pharmacies would be available to you.

    Read more about Medicare Open Enrollment from the agency that runs the program.

    COLD WEATHER ALERT

    The approach of winter means colder weather and less sunlight. For many psoriasis patients, this can mean a worsening of psoriasis symptoms. So it might be a good time to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. At the check-up, you can develop a strategy to survive the winter months.

    Frequent applications of moisturizers to your skin, and a humidifier for your home, may also ease your symptoms this winter.

    Psoriatic arthritis patients who find they are exercising less in the winter should consider mall-walking, a gym membership or a home exercise regimen to keep their joints nimble during the colder, shorter days ahead.

    What other steps would you recommend for psoriasis patients in the winter?