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What triggers a psoriasis flare-up?

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While the underlying cause of psoriasis stems from your body's immune system, certain triggers can make symptoms worse or cause flare-ups. These psoriasis triggers include:

  • Cold and dry weather. Such weather can dry out your skin, which makes the chances of having a flare-up worse. In contrast, hot, sunny weather appears to help control the symptoms of psoriasis in most people.
  • Stress. Having psoriasis can itself cause stress, and patients often report that outbreaks of symptoms come during particularly stressful times.
  • Some medications. Certain drugs, such as lithium (a common treatment for bipolar disorder), drugs for malaria, and some beta-blockers (used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease, and some heart arrhythmias), can cause flare-ups of psoriasis symptoms.
  • Infections. Certain infections, such as strep throat or tonsillitis, can result in guttate (small, salmon-pink droplets) or other types of psoriasis two to three weeks after the infection. Psoriasis symptoms may worsen in people who have HIV.
  • Trauma to the skin. In some people with psoriasis, trauma to the skin -- including cuts, bruises, burns, bumps, vaccinations, tattoos, and other skin conditions -- can cause a flare-up of psoriasis symptoms at the site of the injury. This condition is known as the Koebner phenomenon.
  • Alcohol. Using alcohol may increase the chances of psoriasis flare-ups, at least in men.
  • Smoking. Some experts think that smoking can worsen psoriasis symptoms.

From: Top Psoriasis Triggers WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:






Bruce E. Strober, MD, PhD, associate director of dermatopharmacology, department of dermatology, New York University School of Medicine; co-director, Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Center; consultant for Amgen, Biogen, Genentech, Fujisawa, and 3M. Jeffrey M. Weinberg, MD, director, Clinical Research Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City; assistant clinical professor of dermatology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; consultant for Amgen and Genentech. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. American Academy of Dermatology. American Academy of Dermatology, PsoriasisNet. National Psoriasis Foundation. Abel, E. , April 2005. ACP Medicine

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on December 4, 2018

SOURCES:






Bruce E. Strober, MD, PhD, associate director of dermatopharmacology, department of dermatology, New York University School of Medicine; co-director, Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Center; consultant for Amgen, Biogen, Genentech, Fujisawa, and 3M. Jeffrey M. Weinberg, MD, director, Clinical Research Center, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City; assistant clinical professor of dermatology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; consultant for Amgen and Genentech. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. American Academy of Dermatology. American Academy of Dermatology, PsoriasisNet. National Psoriasis Foundation. Abel, E. , April 2005. ACP Medicine

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on December 4, 2018

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