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 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. 5 signs a psoriasis support group is right for you
  2. 6 ways to manage itchy skin when you have psoriasis
  3. Arthritis
  4. Arthritis pain: Do's and don'ts
  5. Botox injections: Can they relieve arthritis pain?
  6. Can arthritis pain medications be harmful?
  7. Can psoriasis make it hard to sleep?
  8. Chapped lips: What's the best remedy?
  9. Dry skin
  10. Ease stress to reduce your psoriasis flares
  11. Exercising with arthritis
  12. Ground flaxseed
  13. Gluten sensitivity and psoriasis: What's the connection?
  14. How to heal cracked heels
  15. How to heal cracked skin at thumb tip
  16. Is the Mediterranean diet good for psoriasis?
  17. Living better with psoriasis
  18. Psoriasis-related health risks
  19. Mayo Clinic Minute: Fingernails are clues to your health
  20. Mayo Clinic Minute: Moisturizer tips from a dermatologist
  21. Moisturizers: Options for softer skin
  22. MSM for arthritis pain: Is it safe?
  23. nail psoriasis
  24. Photodynamic therapy
  25. Prednisone risks, benefits
  26. Pregnancy and breast-feeding with psoriasis
  27. Psoriasis
  28. Psoriasis and clinical trials
  29. Psoriasis and intimacy
  30. Psoriasis and your self-esteem
  31. Psoriasis diet: Can changing your diet treat psoriasis?
  32. Psoriasis: Get the most out of your treatment
  33. Psoriasis: How can I protect my skin during a workout?
  34. Fish oil supplements
  35. Psoriasis treatment options
  36. Psoriasis: What if I get psoriatic arthritis, too?
  37. Psoriasis: What to share with your doctor
  38. Relaxation techniques
  39. Scalp psoriasis vs. seborrheic dermatitis
  40. Self-esteem check
  41. Skin biopsy
  42. Skin care tips
  43. Skip flavored lip balm
  44. How to trim thickened toenails
  45. Slide show: 5 ways to thrive with psoriasis through the holidays
  46. Slide show: Caring for your skin when you have psoriasis
  47. Hand exercises for people with arthritis
  48. Joint protection
  49. Types of psoriasis
  50. Common skin rashes
  51. Stress management
  52. Time your lotions right
  53. Ward off dry skin
  54. Water exercise
  55. Alternative psoriasis treatments
  56. What are the risks of vaccinations for people living with psoriasis?
  57. What's the best way to manage scalp psoriasis?
  58. White patch on skin: A cause for concern?
  59. Yucca: Can it relieve arthritis pain?