Top 10 Psoriasis Triggers To Avoid: Stress, Medication, Injury, and More

For most people with psoriasis, symptoms usually come and go. While the root cause of psoriasis stems from the immune system, there are many factors that can aggravate your symptoms or cause flare-ups. These factors are referred to as “psoriasis triggers” and include stress, medication, injury, and much more. 

If you have psoriasis, you can have periods of time with mild or no symptoms at all. Then there may be periods of time with more symptoms (called flares). 

Psoriasis is usually different for everyone. Some may find that stress triggers a flare, while some others may find that stress does not affect their condition, but eating certain foods or taking certain medications can cause a flare-up. 

Top 10 Psoriasis Triggers To Avoid: Stress, Medication, Injury, and More

Top 10 Psoriasis Triggers To Avoid

The research into potential psoriasis triggers is still ongoing. Following are some factors that cause flare-ups in people with psoriasis:

  • Stress
  • Medication
  • Injury
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol 
  • Weather
  • Diet
  • Weight Gain
  • Tattoos and piercings
  • Hormonal Changes

Some psoriasis triggers are associated with a person’s overall health. Those who smoke, drink, or are overweight or obese have more frequent or more severe flares than others. While other triggers like diet, weather, etc., may not have a definite scientific link but can cause flares in some people.

Keep reading the blog and get to know about the top ten psoriasis triggers in brief:

Stress

Several patients have reported a link between stressful life events of life and the development of psoriasis. Researchers now believe that stress and psoriasis both are related to the process of inflammation within the body and can exacerbate each other, creating a vicious cycle. So what could be done? Try to avoid stress as much as possible. 

Meditate, get physically active, and sleep for about 6-8 hours each night. Talking to a close friend, family member, healthcare provider, and support groups can also be beneficial.

Medication

Certain medications used to treat mental disorders, high blood pressure, heart disease, or arthritis can trigger psoriasis. Common medications, including lithium, ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, NSAIDs, Plaquenil, and hydroxychloroquine, etc., can cause flares. Some steroid pills such as prednisone can help control flares but may make your condition worse after long-term use. 

Consult your doctor if you think any of your medications are irritating your skin.

Injury

Psoriasis is highly likely to affect the skin that you have injured. Examples of such injuries include:

  • Cuts or bruises
  • Sunburn
  • Bug bites
  • Vaccination 

It can take a period of 10-14 days to get a psoriasis flare after a person has injured their skin. 

What can you do? Treat your injuries as soon as possible and minimize your risk of a psoriasis flare. 

Also Read: Psoriasis – A serious problem?

Smoking

As we all know, smoking is injurious to health. If you smoke, here is one more significant reason to quit – smoking increases your risk of developing psoriasis. If you are looking forward to avoiding psoriasis lesions, kindly quit smoking. One study found that nearly 78% of people who experienced relief from psoriasis were non-smokers, as against 22% of smokers. 

Alcohol 

Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with the development and worsening of psoriasis. Alcohol has an adverse impact on your immune system, as well as organs, including the liver, heart, and intestines, resulting in the manifestation of skin disease like psoriasis. Furthermore, increased alcohol intake is linked to poor response to psoriasis treatment. 

If you have psoriasis, you can consider limiting or give up alcohol completely. If you think you would need assistance controlling your alcohol intake, talk to your healthcare provider. 

Weather

It is reported that many people experience psoriasis flares during fall and winter. Bear in mind that any temperature extreme can psoriasis flare. It can emerge even in the months of summer due to very hot weather conditions spending too much time in dry air, sun, or air-conditioned rooms.

What you can do is try to keep your skin protected from these elements. Drink plenty of water and keep your skin hydrated. Always use sunscreen while stepping out of your home on bright sunny days. Avoid long, hot showers and moisturize your skin quite often. You can also consider using a humidifier in your home as well. 

Diet

Following is the list of food triggers for psoriasis. However, these foods may not cause or aggravate psoriasis symptoms in everyone. 

  • Red meat
  • Alcohol
  • Junk foods
  • Dairy products
  • Gluten 
  • Citrus fruits
  • Condiments 
  • Nightshades

If you have psoriasis, try to avoid these food triggers and prevent flare-ups. A diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods may help alleviate the severity of a flare-up. 

Foods to eat for people with psoriasis:

  • Fruits (including grapes, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.)
  • Vegetables (including cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, kale, arugula, etc.)
  • Fatty fish (including sardines, salmon, cod, and trout)
  • Heart-healthy oils (including coconut oil, olive oil, safflower oil, and flaxseed oil)
  • Health supplements (such as vitamin B-12, vitamin D, or fish oil supplements)

Weight Gain

Scientists have recently found a link between psoriasis and diet. It suggests that people with psoriasis who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop serious psoriasis symptoms than those with healthy body weight. 

If you are overweight or obese, you should reduce the number of calories you consume each day to lose some weight. Over time, this would help improve your symptoms of psoriasis.

Tattoos and piercings

You may develop psoriasis shortly after getting a tattoo or piercing due to the injury caused to the skin. A person with psoriasis should avoid getting tattoos and body piercings to keep the symptoms from worsening. 

Hormonal Changes

One study found that hormonal changes in females can lead to the development of psoriasis symptoms. 

Psoriasis flares usually occur when the levels of certain hormones drop, which particularly happens during puberty, menopause, and after giving birth. Psoriasis symptoms could improve during pregnancy when levels of some hormones are higher. 

Conclusion

So, these were the top psoriasis triggers that you need to avoid to reduce the risk of flare-ups. Again, psoriasis is different for different people. The triggers for some people may not be troublesome for others. Talk to your doctor if any of these psoriasis triggers are responsible for causing or worsening your condition. 

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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for CheapMedicineShop.com. She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.