Alcohol and Psoriasis
Your drinking habits may also affect your psoriasis. Research has found that drinking may:
- Make you more likely to develop psoriasis
- Worsen your psoriasis symptoms
- Keep your treatments from working as well as they could
Alcohol may directly affect your psoriasis, McCusker says. Also, people who drink heavily don't eat well in many cases. This, too, might make your psoriasis worse.
As a result, you may want to avoid alcohol, or at least cut back if you drink often. Though it won't likely make your psoriasis disappear, it may help your overall health, which in turn might help your skin.
Nutrients and Psoriasis
McCusker says these nutrients may help your psoriasis:
Vitamin D. A study from Spain found that people with psoriasis had lower levels of vitamin D. This vitamin helps keep your immune system working well. Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels, she says. You may need a prescription-strength vitamin D supplement.
Fish oil. Supplements of fish oil can help your body create more anti-inflammatory chemicals. "I don't think fish oil can turn off psoriasis," she says, but "people who take it tend to be a little bit less itchy, and their plaques tend to be a little bit less red."
Small studies have also found that fish oil might reduce some side effects of medicines, such as:
- High triglycerides from retinoid drugs. Soriatane is an example of this type of drug.
- Kidney problems from cyclosporine (such as Neoral)
The take-home message from many skin experts: Your diet alone probably won't cure psoriasis. But in some people, these types of changes might help.