5 Common Triggers Of Psoriasis You Should Avoid

For reasons not entirely understood by scientists, the number of people with psoriasis across the world is rising at a steady rate.

If you suffer from psoriasis, you’ll know that it can be triggered by certain behaviours or environmental factors. However, we tend to live busy lives and get up to all sorts throughout the day, so identifying these triggers can be tricky.

Luckily, we’re on hand with all the info you need to help you avoid these common triggers, minimising the chances of a breakout and helping to keep your skin as clear as possible.

What Is Psoriasis?

Before we look at triggers, let’s first take a brief look at this skin condition to understand what it is and why it occurs.

Let’s start by saying that nobody is entirely sure what causes psoriasis. What we do know is that it’s a chronic autoimmune condition that occurs when the immune system wrongly perceives a threat and begins attacking your body’s own cells.

The condition is characterised by the rapid and abnormal growth of skin cells, which usually result in raised, red patches topped with silvery scales - known as plaques.

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the condition, although there are actually seven other types – guttate, inverse, erythrodermic, pustular, psoriatic arthritis, scalp and nail psoriasis.

Although psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body, it’s commonly found on the elbows, knees and scalp. 

Until now, researchers have been unable to solve the mystery of why psoriasis occurs, although many researchers agree that it stems from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Recent research has also linked the condition to the gut, but more work is needed before anyone can say for sure what causes it.

What we do know, thankfully, is what can cause a flare-up. So let’s look at the potential triggers

What Triggers Psoriasis?

Although reactions differ from person to person, these are some of the most common triggers:


If you enjoy a tipple, sorry to be the bearer of bad news but drinking alcohol is known to be one of the worst triggers for autoimmune conditions like psoriasis.

Alcohol is known to cause inflammation, which throws the immune system into disarray. For those suffering from autoimmune diseases whose immune systems are already working overtime, this merely exacerbates the issue and can cause skin to flare up.

That’s not to say you need to cut out alcohol completely. But if you want to avoid breakouts then at the very least, try to keep your drinking to a minimum.


Smoking is one of the worst causes of inflammation in the body, so its inclusion on this list might not cause too many surprises!

Each puff on a cigarette fills your lungs with a cocktail of harmful substances which triggers an immune response and can cause psoriasis to kick off.

Unlike some of the other inclusions on this list, smoking isn’t something that can be done in moderation. So our advice for anyone who wants to avoid flare-ups is to quit smoking pronto! 


Foods that are rich in sugar are also responsible for causing inflammation. Consuming high-sugar treats causes a spike in blood sugar levels, which causes an inflammatory response within the body. 

High glycemic index foods such as white rice, white bread, breakfast cereals, potatoes and chips also raise your blood sugar, exacerbating psoriasis and causing flare-ups. 

Moreover, over time insulin resistance may develop due to your frequent consumption of high-sugar foods, which not only worsen psoriasis but put you at risk of diabetes. So there are numerous reasons to avoid sugar or at least cut back on it!

Cold Weather 

If you suffer from psoriasis, or any autoimmune disease for that matter, then chances are you’ve noticed a worsening of your symptoms during the winter.

The air is cold and dry in winter, which strips away the skin’s natural moisture. Indoor heating systems also make dry skin worse, demonstrating just what a challenging time winter can be if you have psoriasis.

To protect your skin during the cold season, drink plenty of fluids and use a good moisturiser or body lotion. This should help keep your skin hydrated to ward off the symptoms of psoriasis.

Certain Skincare Products

People with psoriasis need to be careful about which products they put on their skin. Although you may think you’re helping your condition when you apply moisturiser, face cream or body lotion, these products may actually be doing more harm than good.

That’s because some of these products contain ingredients that are harmful for sensitive skin and can cause breakouts and flare-ups.

So how do you keep your skin moisturised if many of the products on the market are likely to cause irritation? Thankfully, organic skincare products are designed to provide a gentle alternative, cleansing, hydrating and moisturising your skin, without causing redness or exacerbating sensitive skin conditions.

Benefits Of Organic Skincare

Whether it’s shower gel, face cream, moisturiser or body lotion, choosing organic, natural skincare comes with a range of benefits that extend beyond reducing inflammation. These include:

Reduces Inflammation

As we’ve already discovered, inflammation lies at the heart of all autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis.

With their all-natural formulas, organic moisturisers harness the power of beneficial plant compounds that are known to contain anti-inflammatory properties. 

Ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile and calendula are not only kind to the skin but also excellent for easing inflammation. So look out for these ingredients when searching for a product to help your skin clear.

Reduces Itchiness:

One of the most frustrating aspects of skin conditions such as psoriasis is the itchiness. Sadly, while many moisturisers may hydrate the skin, they do nothing to ease the itchiness.

Organic moisturisers, on the other hand, can prove advantageous in this department. Armed with ingredients like jojoba oil, lavender and chamomile, these anti-inflammatory agents help to not only hydrate the skin but also soothe the infuriating itch.

Hydration For Dry Skin:

If you’re suffering from this chronic skin complaint, one of the biggest concerns is dry, flaky skin. Thankfully, organic moisturisers excel in providing hydration with ingredients like coconut oil, argan oil and shea butter.

These natural humectants work by locking in moisture, which prevents the skin from drying out to make it supple and more nourished.

Skin Barrier Function:

When someone suffers from psoriasis, their skin barrier function is compromised, making it less adept at maintaining hydration and keeping out irritants. Organic moisturisers help shore up your skin's natural barrier, enhancing its function and contributing to the overall health and resilience of the skin.

Rich In Antioxidants:

Psoriasis can damage the skin and leave it vulnerable to attack from external stressors, but organic moisturisers can help restore damaged skin.

Enriched with a variety of ingredients that are jam-packed full antioxidants like green tea extract, vitamin E and rosehip oil, which aid skin repair and help reduce your symptoms. 

Moreover, antioxidants attack free radicals which contribute to the destruction of your skin, which also helps to support the healing process. Green tea extract, in particular, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it a powerful tool to have in your locker!

So those are five triggers for psoriasis. Try to avoid these as much as possible, and be sure to use natural skincare products to help give your skin the nourishment it needs.

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