Common Psoriasis Triggers Aug 17, 2021 / by Complete Family Dermatology Team
In our last blog, we mentioned that there are certain triggers that can lead to a psoriasis outbreak. If your psoriasis flares up for seemingly “no reason,” you likely have one or more triggers to blame. Today, we’ll go over some common psoriasis triggers and how you can reduce your chances of an outbreak.
Identifying TriggersIt’s not easy to identify triggers because they’re different for every person. For some, it’s the weather; for others, it’s stress. While it can be a challenge to narrow down your triggers, it’s important to know what they are so that you can avoid them and have better control over your psoriasis. To help you find yours, here is a list from the AAD of the most common triggers and the signs you should watch out for.
Common Psoriasis Triggers
- Have you noticed that your outbreaks show up or get worse when you are stressed? If so, stress may be one of your triggers. It’s important to reduce stress as much as you can. Some common de-stressing activities include yoga, mediation, support groups, gratitude journaling, and controlled breathing.
- Your psoriasis may flare up after a skin injury like a cut, scrape, bite, sunburn, bruise, or rash. In most cases, your psoriasis will show up at the same spot or near the injury within 10 to 14 days. To prevent a flare-up, you should treat the spot and don’t touch/itch it. All in all, practice safety when you’re playing sports or spending time outdoors — wear sunscreen, put on bug spray, cover-up, and wear safety equipment when needed. In the same sense, tattoos and piercings also injure the skin and increase your risk of a flare-up. If you want to get any type of body art, talk with your dermatologist first to learn about tips for caring for your skin.
- Frequent drinking can interfere with your psoriasis treatment. Drinking daily or having more than 1 to 2 drinks can cause a flare-up to happen. For the best results, stop drinking alcohol. Limiting your drinks to 1 for women and 2 for men may help reduce your risk of an outbreak. If you choose to drink, please tell your dermatologist so they can safely prescribe medication to you.
- Smoking (and secondhand smoke) may cause your psoriasis to appear unexpectedly. Not only can smoking make your psoriasis worsen, but you’re at a higher risk to develop other conditions like heart disease, obesity, and arthritis. To reduce the risk of flare-ups, stop smoking and avoid being around others who are smoking.
Dry, Cold Weather
- It’s common for flare-ups to happen in the fall or winter because your skin loses its moisture. To avoid an outbreak, it’s recommended to take short, warm showers, use moisturizer throughout the day, plug in a humidifier, dress warmly when outside, don’t sit directly by a heat source, and remove cold, wet clothes when coming inside.
Sunshine, Warm Weather
- On the other hand, lots of sunshine and warm weather can also increase your risk of a flare-up likely due to sunburns and air conditioning. If your skin feels dry, put on a moisturizer, and if you’re spending time outdoors, wear sunscreen. However, limited sun exposure can relieve some symptoms of psoriasis.
- It’s common for psoriasis to be triggered by infections, such as strep throat, bronchitis, or earache, especially for kids. If you think you have an infection, it’s crucial that you get the proper treatment for it from a doctor as soon as possible. Your psoriasis can appear anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks after your infection.
- It’s possible that a medication that you’re taking is a trigger for your psoriasis. If so, it will likely flare up within 2 to 3 weeks of taking the medication. Talk with your doctor before stopping your medication and ask about other options. It’s in your best interest to ask your doctor about psoriasis side effects before getting prescribed.