Sick woman holding throat with pained expression
Previous Next 2 of 5 Guard against contagious infections

Both winter weather and stress increase the risk of infectious illness, making colds, the flu, and other infections common during the holidays. Any infectious illness causes your immune system to kick into high gear, increasing your risk of a psoriasis flare. Strep throat (streptococcal infection) can trigger guttate psoriasis and worsen plaque psoriasis. Strep bacteria are highly contagious, easily spread at holiday gatherings through bacteria in airborne droplets, on doorknobs, and on shared food and drinks. Protect yourself by washing your hands frequently and avoiding personal items that others have used, such as cutlery, drinking glasses and ChapStick.

If you have frequent sore throats followed by new skin flares, talk with your doctor. He or she may recommend a strep antibody test to see if you have higher than normal levels of strep in your system.

See more Multimedia Jan. 03, 2019