What Causes Psoriasis to Flare Up?
In a recent study on psoriasis, researchers investigated every aspect of psoriasis — from causes to symptoms to psoriasis flare up treatment. According to this study, psoriasis flare up causes include stress, alcohol consumption, obesity, vitamin D deficiency, and tobacco use. Certain medications can also trigger flares as they can impede the body’s natural autoimmune response, leading to inflammation. Inflammation is additionally a common trigger for flare ups.
Medications that trigger psoriasis include:
- Hemangeol – treatment of hypertension
- Lithium – prescribed for mental health disorders
- Indocin – treatment for arthritis
- Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine – anti-malarial drugs for preventing malaria
- Plaquenil – treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus
- Beta-blockers (e.g., Propranolol) ¬– treatment for cardiovascular conditions
- Quinidine ¬– treatment for cardiovascular conditions
If a patient thinks their medication could be causing flare ups, they should continue taking his or her medications as prescribed and schedule an appointment with their prescribing physician to discuss further.
How to Prevent Psoriasis
There are several ways to help reduce the severity and frequency of your psoriasis.
To prevent stress induced flare ups, patients should incorporate relaxing activities into their daily routine such as meditation, yoga, or a professional massage.
Keep the Skin and Scalp Moisturized
When the skin is dry, plaques may develop. To keep the skin moist, patients need to stay hydrated. In addition, the use of a humidifier, lotions, and creams can help reduce the symptoms of psoriasis.
Be Mindful of Your Skin and the Scalp
Patients should avoid picking at their skin patches as it could cause more patches to develop.
Cold, dry environments can intensify many cases of psoriasis, and many patients find hot weather is beneficial for their psoriasis.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A diet full of fruits and vegetables is beneficial. Some people find it helpful to omit dairy and gluten from their diets, but every person’s diet needs are different.
You may be able to learn how to prevent psoriasis flare ups by changing your diet. Knowing which foods can cause inflammation can help people with psoriasis create a menu that is free of these foods.
Foods that may cause inflammation include:
- Dairy products
- Foods high in fat
- Red meat
- Processed foods
- Citrus fruits
- Refined sugars
- Nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers)
Foods patients can add to their diet to help psoriasis remain in remission or potentially reduce symptoms:
- Seeds (such as pumpkin and flax seeds)
- Fatty fishes like tuna and salmon
- Green leafy vegetables, including kale and spinach
Vitamins and supplements may also be beneficial. However, before starting any new vitamin or supplement, patients should speak with their physician.
How to Treat Moderate to Severe Psoriasis
If at-home treatments are not reducing your psoriasis flares as well as you’d like them to, consider speaking with your doctor about psoriasis treatment options available at IVX Health. At IVX Health, you can receive revolutionary psoriasis biologic medications, including Remicade and Cimzia, administered via an injection or an infusion. To find your closest IVX Health center, click here.