Psoriasis Triggers


An important part of living with psoriasis is understanding what makes yours better—and worse.

Most researchers agree that psoriasis occurs when a person’s immune system mistakenly triggers an inflammatory response, leading to psoriasis. What may cause one person’s psoriasis to become active may not affect your own.

Using a log to keep track of flare-ups can be very helpful. Just jot down when they occurred and what you were doing - for example, out in cold weather or feeling really stressed. Other common triggers include include smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, skin injuries, and certain medications.

Here are some things you can try to improve your symptoms and help reduce flare-ups:

  • Avoid the cold. Cold weather may make your symptoms worse, while sunlight may help. (However, hot and humid weather might worsen certain types of psoriasis.)
  • Don’t scratch! The word “psoriasis” comes from the Greek word “psora” or itch. Scratching an affected area can allow bacteria to enter and cause an infection.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking can make psoriasis worse. If you are trying to quit, talk to your doctor for help. Avoid using nicotine patches, which can also aggravate psoriasis.
  • Limit drinking alcohol. Studies show that heavy drinking may trigger psoriasis and even interfere with certain treatments.
  • Get a handle on your stress. While stress is a natural part of life, certain activities can help keep it under control, like exercise, listening to music, and deep breathing.
  • Treat your psoriasis. You’ll always have psoriasis, but the right treatment can calm flare-ups, help prevent recurring symptoms, and greatly improve your skin.

Certain medications can trigger psoriasis. These include lithium, commonly prescribed for bipolar disorder, and high blood pressure medications, such as beta blockers, antimalarial drugs, and iodides. But don’t just stop taking your prescribed medications—talk with your doctor.

Go beyond the itch with Dermarest®—strong enough for flare-ups, gentle enough for every day.