Psoriasis is a genetic disorder characterized by scaling skin.
Chronic plaque psoriasis is often seen in areas of the body such as the knees, elbows and sacrum. It can be in small isolated patches or cover extensive areas of the body, causing emotional stress.
Once it is triggered, psoriasis treatment aims to put the skin disorder into remission. If you decide to book for a consultation with Healthy Skin Clinic, we will of course go through the many causes/triggering factors that may increase the intensity and duration of your flare ups.
Research tells us that certain dietary and lifestyle triggers can make psoriasis worse. Dietary and lifestyle triggers will vary from one person to the other however.
So here are 3 things that you can do at home, to start your treatment of psoriasis.
1. Reduce your beer intake
Several studies have found links between alcohol consumption and psoriasis. The Nurses study followed 82,869 females over a 14 year period, and concluded that the amount of alcohol consumed and the type of alcohol consumed implicated a risk for the development of psoriasis &/or psoriasis exacerbation. The risk for new onset psoriasis was 2.3 alcoholic drinks per week. Non-light beer was a greater risk. In males an increased risk and activity of psoriasis was reported to occur when consuming around 100/g day of alcohol. Interestingly, the study also found that alcoholics have a decreased response to their psoriasis treatment and that the dorsum of the hands and digits was often affected by psoriasis.
Light beer, wine and liquor did not significantly affect the risk.
2) Decrease excess weight
Several studies have looked at the links between psoriasis and weight gain. The Nurses Health Study II looked at the health of female nurses, their adiposity (high body weight) and BMI. They concluded that of the 78,626 participants who were followed in the study, there was a significantly increased incidence of psoriasis in the overweight. 30% of the self reported incidence of psoriasis was attributed to a BMI of 25.0 or greater (overweight).
For those females in the obese category (BMI of 30.0 or greater) 50% of psoriasis risk was attributed to excess weight and 63% of the psoriasis risk in the group with a BMI of 35.0 or above. The report concluded that with weight loss, the severity of psoriasis decreased.
Another study concluded that patients with psoriasis were more likely to be obese and to smoke compared to those without psoriasis. Interestingly this study concluded that obesity was the result of psoriasis and not a risk factor leading to psoriasis.
3) Stop smoking
Smoking is considered to have a significant impact upon people with psoriasis. A 2007 study that involved 1116,608 female nurses and conducted over a 14 year period looked at the effects of psoriasis in those who had never smoked, different amounts of smoking and past smokers.
Compared to those who had never smoked the research concluded that:
- past smokers had a 37% higher risk of psoriasis
- current smokers had a 78% higher risk of psoriasis
- smokers with 1-10 pack years had a 20% higher risk of psoriasis
- those with 11-20 pack years had a 60% greater risk of psoriasis
- those smokers with +21 pack years more than two times higher risk of psoriasis
In other words, the more the smoking, the higher the psoriasis risk.
Following cessation of smoking, the risk of psoriasis decreased to nearly the same as those females who had never smoked.
(A one pack year is equal to smoking 20 cigarettes per day for one year).
If you would help to control your psoriasis, we Healthy Skin Clinic is here to help.
Go to www.healthyskinclinic.com.au to find out more.
REMEMBER: We do consultations Australia wide – Face to Face in Darwin or via Skype Video in other areas of Australia.
- *The study is “Smoking and the Risk of Psoriasis in Women: Nurses’ Health Study II” by Arathi R. Setty, MD, MPH, Gary Curhan, MD, ScD, and Hyon K. Choi, MD, DrPH. It appears in The American Journal of Medicine, Volume 120, Issue 11 (November 2007).
- Alcohol intake and risk of incident psoriasis in US women: a prospective study. Quereshi AA, et. al. Arch Dermatol 2010 Dec;146(12): 1364-9.
- Obesity, waist circumference, weight change, and the risk of psoriasis in women:Nurses’ Health Study II. Setty, AR, Curhan, g., Choi, HK. Arch Intern Med, 2007, Aug 13-27;167(15)1670-5