How Your Environment May Cause Psoriasis Flare-Ups—and What to Do About It
Many people with psoriasis find that their flare-ups are triggered by a particular environmental factor. Most common factors are related to lifestyle—obesity, smoking, alcohol or stress, for example—or health exposures—HIV, physical trauma, some medications, or even strep infection, says board-certified dermatologist Nicole Seminara, M.D., from NYU Langone Health in New York City.
The National Psoriasis Foundation also includes allergies, diet, and the weather in its list of common environmental triggers, but Seminara says there’s not “much evidence” that those definitely cause flare-ups.
What is clear is that psoriasis triggers aren’t the same for everybody. Stress might cause one person’s psoriasis to flare up, while another person’s symptoms get worse during cold weather. Here’s a deeper look at each of the most common environmental triggers—and how to avoid or reduce them.