What Triggers a Psoriasis Flare-up?

Psoriasis Flare-up

If you suffer from psoriasis, you’re not alone. Although there is no cure, there are certain triggers that can cause psoriasis symptoms to flare.

What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes the rapid buildup of skin cells. The immune system attacks healthy skin, causing you to develop painful, itchy spots of dry skin that can become thickened, red, and scaly. The most common places for psoriasis to occur include:

  • Scalp
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Face
  • Feet
  • Back
  • Palms

The majority of people who develop psoriasis are diagnosed between ages 15 to 30. It’s also common to be diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 60. You’re more likely to develop psoriasis if a family member has the condition.

What Are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?

Symptoms of psoriasis can vary from patient to patient. Some will have fewer flare-ups than others and may enjoy periods of remission for months or years. Because there are several different types of the condition, you may experience some of the following common symptoms:

  • Patches of plaque that are characterized by red areas on the skin covered with silver-colored scales
  • Scaly patches that are small and round
  • Bleeding skin that is dry and cracked
  • Intense itchiness or burning sensations
  • Fingernails that are thickened and ridged
  • Painful joints

What Triggers Can Cause a Psoriasis Flare?

The following factors can trigger psoriasis flare-ups:

  • Stress- The most common cause of psoriasis flare-ups. Trying different activities for stress management such as yoga, exercise, and meditation can control flare-ups.
  • Cold Air- The colder the outdoor temperatures, the more likely you are to experience a psoriasis flare-up. Ultraviolet light from the sun kills the overactive white blood cells that are attacking healthy skin cells and causing rapid cell growth. Light therapy may help reduce symptoms.
  • Dry Skin- Dry skin cracks and damages skin, letting psoriasis take hold. Keep your skin moisturized with high quality, fragrance-free cream or lotion.
  • Upper Respiratory Infections- See your doctor immediately if you get a cold or sore throat, which may push the immune system into overdrive and cause a psoriasis flare-up. Antibiotics will destroy any infection and lessen the stress on your immune system.
  • Beta Blockers and Lithium- Beta blockers, which are used to treat high blood pressure, have been linked to increased psoriasis flare-ups. Your doctor may be able to change your medication. Lithium, used to treat depression, also increases your chance for a flare-up.

If you have psoriasis and are looking to reduce flare-ups contact Skin Care Research or call us at 561-948-3116. Our clinical research center has more than 25 years of experience executing clinical trials focusing on a variety of dermatological conditions.

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