Psoriasis Triggers: Top 10 to Avoid

What Causes Psoriasis to Flare Up

Psoriasis is a skin condition that is caused either by the genetic makeup of an individual or due to some problem with the body’s immune system. The condition occurs when the T cells – the white blood cells – become active and instead of attacking an infection attack the skin cells. This leads to dry, scaly patches on the skin that may or may not bleed.

Although the main cause of the disease is not quite certain to date, it is pertinent to know what the major triggers are. If you know which triggers to avoid, you can have better control your psoriasis flare up. This week, we takes a look at what causes psoriasis to flare up. Here are a few ideas:

1. Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Since the research started on the subject, it was found that people with psoriasis, usually had a higher alcohol consumption rate. In fact, alcohol doesn’t just act as a trigger, but can also prolong the treatment of the disease.

So, for those suffering from psoriasis, limiting alcohol intake or quitting the habit is the best thing to do. If you absolutely can’t do without the alcohol, you can try some of the non-alcoholic products.

2. Genetics

Many believe genes to be the major cause of psoriasis. However, the disease has to be set off by some other factor alongside the genetics. Bear in mind, not everyone who has a family history of the disease is likely to develop it at some point in their lives.

Read More: 9 Natural Remedies for Psoriasis You Should Try

3. Stress

Just as it is the leading cause of hundreds of other diseases, stress is a major cause of psoriasis. In fact, it doesn’t just cause the disease, often it makes it much worse than it really should be.

To keep things under control, here are some techniques that’ll help you bring the stress levels down.

For children, try these stress relieving techniques: 8 Ways to Relieve Stress in Children.

4. Smoking

Smoking is known to worsen the symptoms of psoriasis. The tobacco raises the chances of your developing the condition. Then, the more you smoke, the more psoriasis breaks out.

It is a good lifestyle decision for those suffering from psoriasis to quit smoking.

5. Food

Although the effect of the type of food you eat on the disease is not completely established yet. However, you may want to avoid the following in case you have developed psoriasis:

  • Gluten
  • Whole Milk
  • Fatty foods
  • Refined sugar
  • Citrus fruits
  • Processed food

ILW Recommends: Try an Elimination Diet to see what foods trigger your psoriasis!

6. Skin Injuries

Anything that causes trauma to the skin can be a major trigger for the outbreak of psoriasis. Things like tattoos, scratches, bug bites, cuts, sunburn and even vaccines may cause a trauma and lead to the disease.

So make sure to protect your skin, and to cover your body properly.

7. Steroids and Other Medication

There are some medicines that can meddle with your body’s immune system and lead to psoriasis. Some of the medicines that may cause an outbreak or flare up include steroids, beta-blockers, non-steroidal Indomethacin, lithium and even malarial treatment pills.

8. Infections

Some types of infections, like the Streptococcal pharyngitis – infection of the throat – or Candida Albicans – thrush or yeast infection – can also lead to the spread of psoriasis. It is better to treat infections as quickly as possible.

9. Hormonal Changes

Hormones play a very important role in maintaining the natural balance of the body. At any point when there’s a misbalance, your body is at risk of psoriasis and with many other conditions. So, usually at the time of puberty or menopause, you may experience a flare-up or spread of the patches.

10. Weather Conditions

Often psoriasis can spread as an irritable response to weather extremities. The harsh cold weather can cause dryness, itching, and redness. Similarly, sunburn can also lead to skin damage and hence, psoriasis.

It is better to avoid outdoor activities if the weather is extreme.

Last Thoughts

The condition can range from mild to severe depending on the symptoms. While minor psoriasis is common and doesn’t do long-term damage, severe psoriasis requires immediate medical intervention and treatment.

ILW Recommends: Natural Skincare Treatments for Psoriasis 

Prevention is always the best cure – once you’ve learned about the triggers, it is easier to avoid them in order to stay safe and healthy. Psoriasis may look scary and a condition that can hurt you physically and psychologically, but understanding your skin, the disease, common triggers, and how to avoid them can help you control your condition.

What causes your psoriasis to flare up? We want to hear about it in our comments below!

Author Bio

Hello, I’m Jean, a passionate health enthusiast and personal trainer. After diagnosed with psoriasis in 2002 and struggling to keep it under control, I decided to write about my personal experiences and issues that relate to psoriasis in 2007. Through my writing, I hope to provide answers to questions about this disease and how it can be controlled.


  1. Deanna on March 19, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    My flare ups seem to be consistent with hormonal changes, weather and stress. Mine is fairly mild but annoying nontheless.

  2. femi on April 24, 2018 at 7:11 am

    Thank you for sharing the post with much information.
    Psoriasis is non-infectious skin diseases that cause red, scaly rashes and patches on the skin. In my opinion, to cure Psoriasis permanently Ayurveda treatment is the best method because it has no side effects.
    Keep up the work! All the best!

  3. Aria on September 13, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    When I am extremely stressed I get psoriasis flare-ups, my skin becomes red and cracks. Hydrocortisone is definitely not a long-term solution so I looked for a natural cream. Dermalmd psoriasis serum is wonderful. I keep it in the fridge and apply it up to 5x/day to the affected area. No side effect and definitely a reduction in peeling and chafing.

  4. Tammy Davis on December 17, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    It seems that nuts and strawberries also cause me to have flare up as well as stress. I’m 80% clear by taking these out of my diet.

  5. Brenda on January 10, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Ever since I use the dermalmd serum for psoriasis my skin has cleared oout and has a whole new shine..beyond recommended product

    • Pamela on December 14, 2021 at 6:53 am

      Can you share more information about the product you use.

  6. Yusuf patel on February 9, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    Thank u for the advice where can u get this,cream from thank u

  7. hennessey on May 13, 2019 at 11:59 am

    i honestly didn’t know what was wrong with my skin or why its happening , a lot of kids ask me what is that on your ankle or knees . i always worn pants to hide it but the i start scratching my ankle and the same thing on my knee went to my ankle , but when i was little i used to skateboard and i fell an scrapped my elbows the i saw psoriasis but at the time i just thought it was my skin re growing so i showed my mom and she said xsumu so i got prescribed a medicine and it thins Ur skin so u cant use it on Ur eye lid or anything . after months it went from my elbows to my knees to my ankles and in the summer above my eyes i had no idea this was a skin disease , sincerely love hennessey , i love Ur article and keep up the good work

  8. Herpezine on July 3, 2020 at 9:59 am

    I just recently discovered this condition and also realized I have this, I think genetics play a major role here then second comes the environment you’re within or your lifestyle. I have psoriasis but it’s not that worse, I think this is just mild and not severe but you can’t deny the fact that it is annoyingly itchy and ugly-looking. I’d like to treat this and undergo a treatment for this to lessen or be removed completely.

  9. Suzy on October 10, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    I am 70 and it started a few month ago definitely during this pandemic. . Neck itchy but no redness there. Arms mainly but also around chest tummy …… I can handle it but it is getting more and more yet not readily visible, might not show up on video unless very well lit and there is no reason yet to go to doctor. No no stress really, no kids, small job from home now… drinking is now limited to 2 glasses a day will try to go for 1.

    Stay Safe everybody

  10. Myra on June 20, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    I’m 60. I don’t drink and don’t smoke. I also rarely, if ever, eat citrus fruits. Stress could be a potential factor, but this latest flareup appeared to start right after I got literally covered by mosquitoes while trying to mow the yard (to help get rid of the mosquitoes) a couple weeks ago after we got a lot of rain. Right now, both arms are so itchy around the elbows, that I can’t stand it. It’s driving me nuts! I am tempted to take a Benadryl, in case it’s an allergic reaction to something.

  11. […] [What Causes Psoriasis to Flare Up? Avoid the Top 10 Triggers […]

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