If you have psoriasis, you’re probably already familiar with flare-ups. In addition to diet and stress, extreme weather conditions play a role in recurring episodes of psoriasis. People with psoriasis have sensitive skin and need to be cautious in extreme weather.

The sun can be both your friend and your foe if you have psoriasis.

On one hand, sun exposure and natural sunlight can help treat psoriasis. UV radiation is the healing component of phototherapy treatment for psoriasis.

On the other hand, too much sun exposure can trigger flare-ups.

Here are five things you can do to prevent flare-ups in hot weather:

Extreme sun exposure can irritate the skin and cause flare-ups. Sunscreen has protective characteristics against UVA and UVB rays. Your doctor may recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

The body tries to counteract heat by producing sweat. Sweating can cause flare-ups in some people.

To prevent flare-ups, wear light, loose-fitting clothing. You may also want to consider wearing sun protective clothing or hats and visors when outdoors.

For the skin to stay hydrated, the body has to be hydrated. Drinking lots of water in hot weather can keep your skin hydrated and prevent flare-ups.

The hottest hours during summer tend to be between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Reducing your time outdoors during these hours or scheduling your trips during cooler hours can help prevent flare-ups.

The sun has varying effects on different skin types. The Fitzpatrick scale was established to divide skin types according to color and corresponding reactions to sun exposure.

The scale ranges from very fair (type 1) to very dark (type 6). Knowing your skin type can help you figure out how long you can stay out in the sun.

Having psoriasis will make you very aware of the weather conditions around you. While warm weather and sunlight can help treat psoriasis, it’s important to protect your skin while in the sun and to stay hydrated.

Staying cool and knowing what can trigger your psoriasis flare-ups can help you stay comfortable in hot weather.