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. Can psoriasis make it hard to sleep?
  6. Dry skin
  7. Ease stress to reduce your psoriasis flares
  8. Exercising with arthritis
  9. Ground flaxseed
  10. Gluten sensitivity and psoriasis: What's the connection?
  11. How to heal cracked heels
  12. How to heal cracked skin at thumb tip
  13. Is the Mediterranean diet good for psoriasis?
  14. Living better with psoriasis
  15. Psoriasis-related health risks
  16. Mayo Clinic Minute: Fingernails are clues to your health
  17. Mayo Clinic Minute: Moisturizer tips from a dermatologist
  18. Photodynamic therapy
  19. Prednisone risks, benefits
  20. Pregnancy and breast-feeding with psoriasis
  21. Psoriasis
  22. Psoriasis and clinical trials
  23. Psoriasis and intimacy
  24. Psoriasis and your self-esteem
  25. Psoriasis: Get the most out of your treatment
  26. Psoriasis: How can I protect my skin during a workout?
  27. Psoriasis treatment options
  28. Psoriasis: What if I get psoriatic arthritis, too?
  29. Psoriasis: What to share with your doctor
  30. Relaxation techniques
  31. Scalp psoriasis vs. seborrheic dermatitis
  32. Skin biopsy
  33. Skin care tips
  34. Skip flavored lip balm
  35. How to trim thickened toenails
  36. Slide show: 5 ways to thrive with psoriasis through the holidays
  37. Slide show: Caring for your skin when you have psoriasis
  38. Hand exercises for people with arthritis
  39. Joint protection
  40. Types of psoriasis
  41. Common skin rashes
  42. Time your lotions right
  43. Ward off dry skin
  44. Alternative psoriasis treatments
  45. What are the risks of vaccinations for people living with psoriasis?
  46. What's the best way to manage scalp psoriasis?
  47. White patch on skin: A cause for concern?