Weight, drinking or smoking? Which could worsen psoriasis?

Some known triggers of psoriasis

How to avoid some known triggers

While there isn’t yet a cure for psoriasis, in addition to the numerous treatments that are available, some simple lifestyle choices may also help minimise the impact of your condition.

Maintain a healthy weight

Most scientific studies do not show a definitive link between diet and psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. However, if you have psoriasis, doctors generally recommend eating a balanced diet that minimises the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other associated health conditions.

If you have psoriasis or have a genetic disposition to psoriasis and if you are obese you may be more likely to develop severe psoriasis. Obesity also increases the risk of developing other diseases associated with psoriasis, like heart disease and diabetes, and may also make it more likely for a person with psoriasis to develop psoriatic arthritis. While all this does not mean that being overweight causes psoriasis, maintaining a healthy weight will help you feel good, both physically and emotionally, and may help reduce psoriasis severity and minimise the risk of developing related diseases.

With the right treatment and an awareness of the triggers that make the condition worse, it is possible to bring symptoms under control and live a normal and comfortable life

forrest and psoriasis jogger

Drink in moderation

Research suggests alcohol may not only be a trigger for the development of psoriasis, but can also make psoriasis worse as well as make you more resistant to treatment. Be aware of your alcohol consumption and aim to keep it within healthy limits to help reduce the chance of a flare-up in the first place and help your psoriasis to clear up more effectively if you are already using treatment.

Try to avoid smoking

Smoking can also be a trigger for psoriasis. Research suggests that localised pustular psoriasis on the hands and feet may be more common in people who smoke. Other studies and data point to a link between smoking and plaque psoriasis and between smoking and developing severe psoriasis.

Psoriasis may be a lifelong condition but, with the right treatment and being aware of which triggers affect your condition, it is possible to bring symptoms under control and live life to the full.

UK/IE 2013b/00072, Date of prep: April 2015

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