Five Common Psoriasis Triggers To Explore
Do your psoriasis symptoms seem to clear up, only to flare up again days later? There's a good chance that you're unknowingly exposing yourself to something that's triggering your psoriasis flare-ups. Triggers are different for everyone, and if you can figure out what yours are, then you can take steps to avoid these triggers and prevent psoriasis breakouts. Here's a look at five common psoriasis triggers to explore.
Smoking is a psoriasis trigger for many patients. If you're not a smoker, you may assume that this has nothing to do with your case. However, secondhand smoke can also be an issue. Think back on the last few times you experienced flare-ups. Did they occur after you spent time in the home of a smoker or hung out at a bar where patrons were smoking? Ask your friends who smoke not to smoke near you, and avoid public places that allow smoking on the premises. See if your psoriasis flare-ups reduce in frequency or severity as a result.
Some people experience a psoriasis breakout after their skin is injured. A flare-up may result from a scratch, a bruise, or a scrape. To help determine if trauma is a trigger for your psoriasis, buy a little notebook. Write down the time and date of any little scratch or scrape you suffer. Also record the date and time of any flare-up you notice starting. Over time, you may not may not notice a correlation between the injuries and breakouts.
Alcohol is a psoriasis trigger in men more often than women, though it can be a trigger in women, too. Some people break out after any alcohol, and others do so in reaction to specific alcoholic beverages -- like beer or vodka.
A good way to find out if alcohol is a trigger is to eliminate it from your life completely for a month or more. If you are symptom-free, you can then experiment with adding different types of alcohol back into your routine. For example, you could start by enjoying a beer once a week and see if that triggers any flare-ups. Then try wine, and then various liquors that you enjoy. If something triggers a breakout, you know you need to avoid that beverage in the future.
There are a number of prescription drugs that can trigger psoriasis breakouts. Beta blockers, NSAIDS, and antidepressants are especially likely to be psoriasis triggers. If you are taking any drugs in these categories, have a conversation with your doctor about how they may be impacting your psoriasis symptoms. Your doctor may recommend a different drug that is less likely to cause flare-ups, or they may reduce your dose to see if that remedies your symptoms. Do not take yourself off of prescription medications without clearing it with your doctor first; you may end up with issues more serious than psoriasis.
Do you notice that your psoriasis flares up when you have a big meeting on the horizon, are dealing with a lot of family drama, or are otherwise under stress? Stress is a very common trigger for psoriasis. Unfortunately, it is one of the hardest ones to avoid since most people have multiple sources of stress in their lives. Taking some time out to meditate, exercise, and get a bit more sleep can help.
You may also want to consider making big changes in your life to reduce your stress levels. Changing jobs, moving further from troublesome family members, and other similar changes may seem like big leaps at the time, but they may be the actions you need to take to get your flare-ups under control. Talk with a dermatologist if you have any questions about the health of your skin.