Sport And Psoriasis – The Ins And Out Of Getting Sweaty
By Freedom 360
Medically reviewed by Freedom 360 Panel of Doctors
Playing sport is a great way to stay healthy and keep in shape. Regardless of the type of activity you engage in, you will benefit from increased fitness, co-ordination and self-confidence.
Generally, your psoriasis should not prevent you from participating in sport. However everybody’s condition is different, and some activities might not be suitable to some psoriasis patients. You will need to try the activity a few times to see how it impacts on your condition.
For example, the chlorine in some pools may irritate the skin and cause your psoriasis to flare up. Or playing a round of golf without protection from the sun can cause sunburn which will make your skin condition worse.
Some sports – especially those like football - involve tackling or falling to the ground where the abrasive playing surface can cause irritation to the skin. Other sports such as volleyball cannot be played without making contact with the surface of the court. These sports pose a problem for many psoriasis patients, so it is important to wear protective clothing such as full sleeve jerseys as well as wrists, elbow and knee guards when playing.
Most activities will cause sweating as well as friction around sensitive areas such as the groin or the breasts. For some this may just result in a bit of a rash, but for others it may result in a full-blown psoriasis flare-up. Abrasion of the skin is a common trigger for psoriasis, so you need to take precautions such as wearing loose-fitting clothes and applying a petroleum jelly to affected areas.
If you do find your skin is flaring up due to an injury from a sporting activity, it is important to act fast to clean the affected area and apply a topical medication to the surface. Quick action can often prevent a more serious problem.
Another important aspect of sport for psoriasis patients is its impact on your self-esteem. Many psoriasis patients choose not to engage in group activities, usually because they are shy or embarrassed. Sport is a great way to help you connect with other people.
Very few of us will ever have the skill or the training to become professional athletes, but money and fame is not the reason sport is so popular. People love to play sport because it is healthy and it provides an exciting challenge. And all of us can benefit from the camaraderie and friendship of our teammates, whether we win on the day or we lose.