Weight Loss Support - does anyone have any skin issues associated with diet or exercise?

07-27-2012, 09:04 PM
I have eczema and psoriasis although the eczema is very mild and mostly affects me in winter. I haven't had a psoriasis outbreak in over 4 years. I thought maybe it was gone for good! Wouldn't that be nice! Here's some history:
My first outbreak was in June 2007. I had been moving out of my apartment and it was an incredibly hot and sweaty move. I got some red patches on my neck and ears and breasts and upper arms. I went to the Dr and he said it was psoriasis. We drove down the next day from Washington to Oregon for a graduation and it was a hot uncomfortable car ride. By the time I arrived I had several spots on my face which had been clear before the 5 hour trip. My adult niece and I talked on that trip and she said she gets it on the back of her neck too and that it is aggravated further by stress. I felt that explained it since I had just lost my job as well as going through the stressful move. My scalp broke out next (it was painful and gross and oozing and it felt like I'd dipped my head in lava or pure acid.) I was able to clear up some areas on my face, body, and head, but it didn't clear up completely until about Christmas 2007.

Fast forward to now--
It's been 4 years and no outbreaks. Until just a couple of days ago my scalp broke out. And I have it on my face a little around the lips. At first I thought I just had chapped lips and cracking around the corners of my mouth but now I'm pretty sure its the psoriasis. So I was thinking about what could have aggravated my condition after a 4 yr break from it. I'm not under stress right now and I haven't used any new products or detergents or anything. I'm careful about that. The only thing I can think of is that I was dieting and working out back in 2007 just like now. Maybe my sweat (the saltiness?) irritates my skin or chlorine from swimming pools (I do water aerobics) is messing with my skin. ???

So I'm wondering if the fact I'm working out 2-3 hours a day is the culprit because of all the sweating? Copius amounts of sweat! Ever seen a chubby girl do Zumba? We have a chlorine pool at home which didn't bother me and I've been using it since June. But 3 days of water aerobics at the Y and my scalp was a hot mess last night. They probably have a higher chlorine content with the amount of people using their pool daily. Fortunately 2 applications of the medicine has restored my scalp back to bearable and hopefully it will be completely normal with a few more uses.

If any of you have psoriasis could you please let me know if lots of sweaty exercise or chlorine pools has ever exaserbated your condition? I want to nip this in the bud so people at the Y don't begin to wonder if I have some kind of flesh-eating disease. If I can keep it from spreading it isn't really noticeable right now.
By the way, I always shower right after a workout but like I said, I'm exercising 2-3 hours a day so there is a chunk of time when I'm sweaty.

Arctic Mama
07-27-2012, 10:27 PM
Sweating could worsen it. I have sebborheic dermatitis and excess sebum and sweat can make it flare up terribly, even though the main cause is autoimmune. It is obnoxious that it gets worse with weather or activity, but that's my lot.

07-28-2012, 12:21 AM
My father has excema on his back really bad..and for him..going into the pool with chlorine.. makes it much much worse...Makes it painful and itchy...

Just an FYI -Aveeno (brand) makes a great excema cream

07-28-2012, 12:29 AM
When you think about how the skin is the largest organ of your body, and when you think about the toxins your body being released just while losing weight, it make sense to have a flare before it gets better. The body has to rid itself of the yuck by any means possible. I also know many people who find that what they eat affects their skin and I know of one woman in particular who lost a bunch of weight and her awful psoriasis is looking so much better!

Psoriasis is a difficult disease to understand. I have it too, but mine has, fortunately, been pretty well under control since my first flare. Interestingly enough, my first flare occurred after I lost a bunch of weight about 7 years ago!

Right now I have a small patch on my scalp that I need to take care of. Again, I'm losing weight. Go figure.

Chlorine can have an impact on p. But this crazy disease is inconsistent. It doesn't cause problems for everyone. For my son and I, we have no problems with chlorine. Some have found that chlorine helps their p. Others, not so much.

Just be sure to rinse well after pool time and moisturize. You can try using a good barrier lotion prior to pool time that will help protect your skin from the chemicals, something with high dimethicone content in the product. CereVe is one, and Avon has an inexpensive lotion. If you think it might be the pool, try staying out of it for a week and see if your skin improves. Aloe after might help. Some people swear by aloe.

But while the chlorine could cause a problem, the sun is great for psoriasis, as long as you don't get burned.

OK, so did you know that if you have an underlying strep infection (you know, strep throat) it could cause psoriasis to flare up and make it difficult to get it under control? Have you had strep test? You have to request the lab culture, not the quick test they do in the office. The quick test can show a false negative. Whenever my son flares, I get him strep tested and guess what? Yup. Quick test is always negative, lab culture positive.

If you want to learn more about psoriasis, and meet some great flakers, visit the National Psoriasis Foundation web site, and get in touch with others at the on line community at Inspire.

07-28-2012, 01:04 AM
I have psoriasis on my scalp, sometimes much worse than others but it only clears up occasionally. Things I have noticed that trigger flares: STRESS, shampoos with sulfates and other certain ingredients, chlorine in pools (I now swim in saltwater if I can), perfumes (I don't even have to touch it, those people who douse themselves cause me pain), certain foods and it sometimes just seems random.

07-28-2012, 01:44 AM
not related to excema...but i have found that my body metabolizes medications differently when i work out compared to when i'm not...that's how my doctor explained it...for example if i take any medications prior to a hard run i will break out in BIG itchy hives all over my body that clears up a few hours after stopping running...however i can take the same medications and sit on my butt all afternoon and be just fine

07-28-2012, 01:45 AM
I had a MASSIVE eczema outbreak in college. I was a dance major (ballet and modern) and I was fine during the fall semester, but during the spring semester I broke out literally all over my upper body, front and back. Just like you said- it looked like I had some kind of flesh eating disease! The more I got hot and would sweat, the redder and more inflamed it would get (not to mention crack, ooze, itch and wake me up in the middle of the night!!!). It took all spring and summer and several courses of steroids to correct it, so I could go back and dance in the fall.

So yeah, exercise definitely can exacerbate it, but I'll agree 100% with those that have mentioned stress as adding to it. However, I will add that after that ridiculously massive outbreak, I have not *knock on wood* had another flare up, where I had had many small flare ups in my life leading up to that point.

07-28-2012, 01:47 AM
thanks so much for all the answers. I almost didn't ask the question because I'm so sensitive about it. The strep test is an interesting idea I hadn't considered. I'm washing the skin carefully after chlorine and after working out when I'm sweaty. I think the sweat is the culprit for my scalp. Fortunately I went out last night to Walmart and got the Dermarest shampoo that works like a miracle for me. So at least my head isn't oozing and burning. I'm using it twice a day right now. I know that statistically approximately 1 out of 100 people have psoriasis and even more have additional skin problems but that doesn't stop me from feeling like a leper when I get an outbreak. My first outbreak was also during a time when I was dieting and working out and I think it's the sweat. But I'm willing to pay the price to lose the weight. thanks again for all the help!