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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
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.
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!
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.