How can I figure out what triggers my psoriasis and help avoid a flare?

Psoriasis triggers are unique for everyone. Sometimes it can feel like solving a puzzle trying to figure out why your skin flares. But psoriasis often worsens because of a trigger that you may be able to identify and avoid over time.

Common triggers include:

  • Infections, such as strep throat or skin infections
  • Skin injuries , such as cuts, bug bites or a severe sunburn
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Too little vitamin D in the body

Medication triggers include:

  • Lithium, which is prescribed for bipolar disorder
  • High blood pressure medications such as beta blockers
  • Drugs that fight malaria
  • Rarely, potassium iodide, which is prescribed for high thyroid levels

Track your symptoms

To help pinpoint your personal triggers:

Keep a diary or use a smartphone app. Log details about what's going on in your life when your psoriasis flares. For example, include:

  • Medications you're taking
  • How much alcohol or tobacco you're using
  • What the weather is like
  • Whether you're also experiencing seasonal allergies
  • Any diet changes

Log how you're feeling. Note details such as:

  • Serious stress
  • Signs of an illness

Review your diary for patterns. Over time, look for patterns in your lifestyle and when your psoriasis symptoms flare. For example:

  • Do you have flares during colder weather?
  • Do you experience more symptoms when you're stressed?

With a little detective work, you can uncover what seems to affect your psoriasis symptoms. Then, take action to avoid those triggers. It may help to discuss your plan with your doctor, especially if you need advice on how best to avoid your triggers.

Jan. 03, 2019