Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that affects the tear, salivary, and other secretory glands in the body. Symptoms include dryness in the mouth and throat, eyes, skin, and other organs, which can lead to irritation, soreness, and pain.
Dry skin in Sjogren’s syndrome can occur as a result of an autoimmune attack on the moisturizing and lubricating mechanisms of the skin, which involves hair, sweat glands, and oil glands.
Here are some tips on caring for your skin if you have been diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome.
Get evaluated by a dermatologist
Sjogren’s syndrome patients often develop a purple-to-red rash that does not lighten when pressure is applied. They may also show purpura (rashes with blood spots) that’s indicative of vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels). If you observe any of these rashes on your skin, consult a dermatologist.
Protect yourself from the sun
Sunlight contains ultraviolet radiation that can trigger an autoimmune response. Sjogren’s syndrome patients exposed to direct sunlight may develop rashes, sensitivity to light, and sudden flare-ups in symptoms. Therefore, shield yourself from direct sunlight by using sunscreen or sun-protective clothing. When using sunscreen, look for a product that offers a higher sun protection factor. Make sure to apply it in the specified quantity for best results.
Use soaps that are gentle on the skin
Use soap bars that contain glycerin instead of those that contain fragrances and other chemical ingredients. Washing strips the skin of its natural oils so using glycerin-based soaps can help prevent moisture loss and keep the skin hydrated.
Do not dry your skin completely
After washing, make sure not to dry your skin completely. Instead, pat dry your skin using a soft towel and apply a moisturizer immediately. Mixing the moisturizer with glycerin or urea can help the skin better retain the lotion. If you go swimming, ensure that you shower afterwards and apply a moisturizer immediately.
Proper hydration is important to keep your skin moisturized. The recommended daily water intake is 3.7 L for men and 2.7 L for women. If you live in a hot or humid environment, you may need to drink more water to compensate for water loss through sweating. Along with the required amount of water, an oral rehydration solution may help compensate for the loss of electrolytes via sweating during activities such as intense exercise.
Use a humidifier in dry environments
Use a humidifier in environments with dry air. A humidity range between 30% and 50% is ideal for comfortable breathing indoors. However, ensure that you don’t increase the humidity too much as this can promote the growth of allergens and mold.
Last updated: Jan. 16, 2020
Sjogren’s Syndrome News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
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