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How to Prevent Psoriasis Flare-Ups: Managing the Autoimmune Disease

Medically reviewed by Angeli Eloise E. Torres, MD, DPDS · Dermatology · Makati Medical Center

Written by Kip Soliva · Updated Jun 16, 2021

How to Prevent Psoriasis Flare-Ups: Managing the Autoimmune Disease

Psoriasis is a condition that causes your skin to grow faster than it normally does. This then leads to the skin growing red patches that are often covered with flaking white scales. Psoriasis is not life-threatening in most cases nor is it contagious. But it greatly affects the lives of those who have the disease especially when they are having skin flare-ups. Learn more about how to prevent psoriasis here

All You Need To Know About Psoriasis

Psoriasis patients often report burning sensations, unbearable itchiness, and discomfort whenever they are having an outbreak. In some cases when flare-ups occur on the soles of the feet, a patient can barely walk.

Many people with psoriasis who have patches that cover their face, arms, and legs are often avoided by people who are not aware of this condition.

Psoriasis can come in many forms and can grow on almost any part of the body. Without a doubt, its effects on a person’s life can be crippling. 

Can Psoriasis Be Prevented?

The simple answer is no. Psoriasis cannot be prevented as it is a disease that is caused by a combination of factors including genetics. 

Psoriasis can be inherited, which makes it difficult to prevent. But even if a person cannot entirely avoid psoriasis, they can still steer clear of psoriasis flare-ups and live normal lives.

What Triggers Psoriasis Flare-Ups

There is no clear or absolute way on how to prevent psoriasis. Anything that triggers the immune system can set off psoriasis, so there are a lot of factors that can cause flare-ups.

Common triggers of psoriasis flare-ups include

  • Stress
  • Dry weather
  • Skin injury
  • Substance abuse
  • Infections
  • Certain medications

Symptoms of Psoriasis: More Than Just Dry, Scaly Skin

How to Prevent Psoriasis Flare-Ups

Manage Stress

Stress is the most common cause of psoriasis flare-ups. Lack of sleep, mental pressure, and exhaustion can trigger a response from the immune system. 

How to prevent psoriasis? Strive to get the right amount of rest. Around 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep that is not induced by any drug is ideal. Avoid long naps and caffeine for these might affect your normal sleep cycle.

Breathing Exercises

Staying relaxed and calm is probably one of the best ways you can manage stress. Taking a deep breath, then exhaling slowly has proven to calm the body. Do this whenever you are feeling overwhelmed. Meditation and yoga are also good stress relievers that promote breathing exercises.

Eat Healthy and Regularly

Skipping meals and poor nutrition can cause your body to feel more agitated. Don’t skip breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and keep your meals balanced. Make sure to have a serving of fruits and vegetables daily and don’t forget to drink at least 8 glasses of water as well.

Avoid Skin Injury

Skin Injury can be in the form of scratches, burns, cuts, bruises, and bites. Flare-ups usually start 10-14 days after the skin injury, and the red patches grow in the area where you were injured. 

Avoid Tattoos and Shaving

Shaving leads to cuts and tattoos generally pierce the skin. These cuts and injuries might lead to prolonged flare-ups.

Avoid Scratching

In areas where you’ve been bitten by an insect, avoid scratching as scratching leads to injured skin, which might cause a flare-up.

Treat Skin Injuries Immediately

Whether it is a cut, bruise, scratch, or burn make sure to treat it quickly. Apply topical treatments as frequently as prescribed. For severe burns and skin injuries, consult your dermatologist.

Do Not Abuse Substances

Many studies have found that psoriasis patients who drink and smoke have more frequent and prolonged flare-ups. 

Stay Away From Smoking

Smoking is known to be addictive so do not start the habit at all. Aside from triggering flare-ups, smoking increases your risk of developing heart and lung problems. 

Avoid Excessive Drinking

Binge-drinking can trigger adverse responses in your body that can lead to flare-ups. Limit your alcohol intake. Drinking too much can also lessen the efficacy of your psoriasis treatment.

Keep Your Skin Moisturized 

Depending on the weather, some practices can cause the skin to dry. Avoid irritating your skin and keep it healthy and moisturized.

During the cold weather, avoid showering with hot water. Instead, use warm water to avoid agitating and drying the skin. Use soaps and cleansers that have moisturizers and limit your bath to 10 minutes.

Avoid Dry Skin

Whenever you feel that your skin is drying, apply moisturizers especially on areas that are more exposed such as your hands, arms, feet, or legs. Don’t spend too much time under air-conditioning and stay far from the heater.

Key Takeaways

Psoriasis cannot be prevented because it is hereditary. But psoriasis flare-ups can be avoided and managed. There are many ways on how to prevent psoriasis flare-ups and they have a lot to do with lifestyle adjustments.

Managing stress and avoiding substance abuse have positive impacts on your health which reduces the chances of having flare-ups. Avoiding skin injuries and keeping the skin healthy are also ways to avoid psoriasis flare-ups.

Learn more about Psoriasis here. 


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Angeli Eloise E. Torres, MD, DPDS

Dermatology · Makati Medical Center

Written by Kip Soliva · Updated Jun 16, 2021

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