Psoriasis Flare Up Causes and Prevention

Find out what trigger psoriasis flare up and how to control it.

There are certain triggers that worsen psoriasis flare up.

Cold and Dry Weather:

Such environment leads your skin to dryness, creating the risk of flare up. However, hot and sunny weather can control the signs of psoriasis in most people.


Stress prompts your body to raise the inflammation that causes flare up.

Certain Medications:

Some drugs like lithium, drugs for malaria, drugs for high blood pressure can trigger psoriasis flare ups.


Infections like throat or tonsillitis can lead to psoriasis two to three weeks after the infection. Psoriasis tends to get worse in people with HIV.

Skin Trauma:

Cuts, bruises, burns, bumps and tattoos can cause flare-up of psoriasis.

How to Prevent Psoriasis Flare Up

Use Moisturizing Lotion:

Dry skin worsens the symptoms of psoriasis. Therefore, keep it moist with creams and lotions. Petroleum jellies are generally best as they are thick and oily, making them efficient in trapping moisture in the skin. To get rid of scales, apply cream on the top of the skin, afterwards cover the area with plastic wrap or waterproof material. Leave it on for a few hours and then remove the cover. You can use healing creams like Dr. Scabies.

Don’t Scratch the Skin:

Avoid picking patches or scales. Use tar shampoo if you have psoriasis on your scalp.

Avoid Dry and Cold Weather:

Dry and cold weather makes your skin vulnerable to dryness which in turn leads to psoriasis. Therefore, it is important to keep your skin moist. Use humidifier when it’s dry.

Don’t Use Medications That Lead to Flare Ups:

Drugs like lithium, propranolol and quinidine can make your psoriasis worse. Tell your doctors about the medications you are taking, including OTC.

Be Careful with the Injury Prone Activities:

Scrapes, bumps, infections and cuts worsen your psoriasis. These can lead to a condition known as Koebner’s phenomenon. Be careful while doing shaving or chopping the vegetables. Don’t go for tattoos and acupuncture. Resist insect bites and chafing as possible.

Manage Your Stress Levels:

Increased stress levels may affect both your immune system and hormones, leading to an over-response from your body. This respond prompts the immune system to produce too many chemicals to heal injury or infection, and may lead to psoriasis signs. Lowering your stress level can prevent such “psoriasis triggering phenomena”. You can perform meditation and breathing exercises to manage your stress levels. Or you can talk to a therapist.

Avoid Harsh Products:

Deodorant or perfumed soaps are irritants as they contain certain chemicals, dyes, and fragrances which can irritate your skin. So use mild or non-fragrance bathing products. It is better if you ask your dermatologist for the suitable soap and lotions for your psoriasis affected skin. Also avoid the harsh skincare creams.

Take Care of Your Diet:

Certain foods can worsen your psoriasis flare up. Alcohol opens the blood vessels in the skin, prompting the white blood cells and T cells to sneak into the outer layers of your skin. Also avoid junk foods as they are high in saturated and trans fats which can increase inflammation. Red meats and dairy products contain a polyunsaturated fat known as arachidonic acid which can be converted into inflammatory compounds. Same goes with dairy products like cow’s milk.

Protect the Skin from Excessive Sun Exposure:

Even mild sunburn can lead to psoriasis outbreak. The safe duration to stay in the sun is 10-15 minutes. If it is long, the risk of getting burned is always there. Some drugs can make your skin sensitive to sun rays. You should consult your doctor.

With these lifestyle changes, you can prevent psoriasis flare up.

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