If you have itchy or scaly patches on your skin caused by psoriasis, you may be able to reduce how often you have flare-ups by avoiding known triggers of your disease.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition. Researchers believe that approximately 10 percent of all people inherit at least one gene that could lead to psoriasis, but only 2-3 percent of people actually develop the disease.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, most cases of psoriasis begin when someone with the “right” genes is exposed to known triggers that put the disease into action.
Be aware of these psoriasis triggers so you can avoid them:
In addition to all the other things in life that can put the pressure on, psoriasis itself can be a cause of stress. Pain from the condition, extra expenses for medications and doctor’s visits, as well as concerns about the appearance of your skin, can all increase your stress levels.
Practices such as meditation or yoga work well for some people to lower their overall stress.
Some medications, including lithium for bipolar disorder, beta-blockers used to treat heart conditions, and drugs to treat malaria, can all trigger psoriasis flare-ups.
Be sure any doctor prescribing medication for you knows that you have psoriasis. Also be aware that over-the-counter pain medications known as NSAIDs that are used to reduce inflammation may also trigger a flare-up.
Some infections, including strep throat, thrush or upper respiratory infections can also trigger psoriasis flare-ups. Get treated right away if you develop this kind of infection. HIV can also worsen psoriasis symptoms.
Cold and dry weather can leave your skin parched, and make psoriasis symptoms worse. In addition, dry heat used in very cold climates can exacerbate your condition.
At the other end of the weather spectrum, hot or sunny weather may reduce psoriasis symptoms, as long as you take care to protect your skin. But getting a sunburn can turn a sunny day into a flare-up.