Psoriasis Triggers

Psoriasis Triggers

Do You Know Your Psoriasis Triggers?

Suffering with psoriasis can be a real hassle for many. This chronic skin complaint causes the skin to become dry, flaky and at times produces embarrassing rashes and red patches; it can be a lot to take for anyone. Those who have psoriasis know that it can be a real struggle to discover what triggers these flare-ups and then trying to avoiding those situations.

Article of interest: What causes psoriasis?

So what triggers flare-ups? What causes your skin to be great some times and terrible at other times, breaking out at the worst possible time like Christmas for example.

Stress Is A Major Trigger

Stress is one of the most obvious of all triggers for many with psoriasis patients and it can actually cause a major psoriasis outbreak. Continual low-grade chronic stress attacks the immune system by way of altering the body’s production of stress hormones, which weaken the body’s natural defense against disease. With this weakened immune system, the body becomes more vulnerable to inflammation and prone to infection, fatigue, insomnia and a host of other potential health problems. A healthy immune system holds psoriasis flare-ups, the skin remains clear and the immune system is strong. The stress can be any type because it is perceived by the brain to be all the same, whether it be emotional stress, a physical or even toxic stress, it is perceived to be all the same.

Skin injuries can cause serious flare-ups at the site of the injury. Any small scratch or abrasions on the skin can cause infection or psoriasis to develop. Injuries happen and can’t always be avoided. If you are injured immediately take care of the wound, cover it and add Neosporin if it’s a small cut. Taking care of all injuries right after they happen can help prevent outbreaks. Sunburn is also a major risk for flare-ups, partly due to the damage it can do to skin. If you acquire a sunburn, rub it with aloe so it will heal more quickly. Leaving a sunburn untreated can be cause for a painful flare-up.

Illness can trigger flare-ups as well. The most common illness for flare-ups is strep throat, especially if it lingers for awhile. This can cause flare-ups and red bumps all over the skin. Often times, this type of psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, are mistaken as a rash or allergic reaction. In most cases, with antibiotics this type of psoriasis will go away.

Some medications are responsible for flare-ups. If you have been diagnosed with psoriasis make sure to talk about the possible reactions and side effects associated with medications. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medication with lowered risks, or give a second medication to hold off an outbreak.

Learning what can trigger and outbreak, will help keep flare-ups at bay.

The Main Psoriasis Triggers

Several underlying factors may trigger skin flare-ups, including the following.

Poor Protein Digestion And Bowel Toxemia

One major theory relating to the cause of psoriasis proposes that psoriasis occurs when the liver is functioning poorly, in which case endotoxins (wastes from within the body) enter the bloodstream. The build up of endotoxins, along with poor bowel flora (too many bad bugs, not enough good ones, or an imbalance of colonic bacteria) levels has been linked with psoriasis. Poor kidney function is also implicated.

Low Fiber Diet:

Because psoriasis is associated with high levels of circulating endotoxins, and a diet low in fibre is associated with increased levels of endotoxin-producing bacteria.

High Fat Diet

It is interesting to note in countries with lower fat consumption that psoriasis is rare. Some experts believe that psoriasis can result from the faulty utilization of fat in the body.


Psoriasis has bee deemed a hereditary condition and in many cases, psoriasis runs in families. There are always exceptions, however

Faulty Immune System

Psoriasis may occur as a result of allergies. I always check the person out carefully for any underlying food allergies. It pays to go onto a trial elimination-diet for about three weeks to determine to what degree your diet aggravates your skin condition. Excessive activity of certain white blood cells called lymphocytes ( helper T-Cells) may be an underlying cause of psoriasis. People with AIDS or HIV patients often have the most severe forms of psoriasis.


This is a big one, and quite possibly the biggest trigger. I find that many people can tend to have a flare-up after periods of stress, this can include emotional stress, or physiological stress such as sunlight exposure.


A particularly strong aggravating factor, particularly with male drinkers. Tobacco smoking increases the risk of psoriasis developing in women particularly. Also, watch out for the less obvious forms of fat such as potato chips, chocolate, fish/chips, sausages, pizza and too much BBQ in summertime.

Certain Pharmaceutical Drugs

These are the main ones: alpha-interferon, aspirin, cortisone, lithium, beta-blockers, phenylbutazone, progesterone, iodide, nystatin, and indomethacin. Over the years, I have found that various people actually have a drug-induced form of psoriasis. This is particularly true with elderly patients I have seen, who develop a bad case after certain types of pharmaceutical drugs were introduced. One such drug is hydroxychloroquine, sometimes used for rheumatoid arthritis, which can cause severe psoriatic skin reactions.


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