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Psoriasis Basics:

Psoriasis - Aggravating Factors to Avoid

The following is a list of aggravating factors to avoid if you have psoriasis:

  • In approximately 1/3 of people with psoriasis, an injury to the skin (for example a scrape, scratch or bad sunburn), can induce psoriasis in the area of the injury. This is called the “Koebner Phenomenon.”
  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Infections (e.g. Streptococcal infections)
  • Certain drugs. For example; antimalarials, lithium, beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, iodine, digoxin and clonidine, have also triggered or aggravated psoriasis in certain individuals.

    If you are on these medications, speak to your doctor to see if he/she feels that they might be contributing to your condition. Do not stop them without consulting your physician, since it is not always safe to stop them abruptly. If you have a sore throat and suspect a Streptococcal infection, you should see your physician since antibiotic treatment may be required.

Sun Exposure:

Many people with psoriasis notice that their skin improves during the summer or when they travel to southern climates in the winter.

Sun exposure should be done cautiously and in moderation, since the injury from severe sunburn can actually cause the psoriasis to spread all over the sunburned areas. If you are going to be outside for a prolonged period of time, you should use sunscreens.