Learn how to avoid common psoriatic disease triggers

| Kara Anderson

Living with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, you can quickly become familiar with “good” days and “not-as-good” days.But those flare-ups may not be as random as you may think.

“A lot of people, especially those who have been recently diagnosed, may not be familiar with some of the triggers that can cause flares,” said Dr. Jennifer Soung, assistant clinical professor and associate medical director at the University of California Irvine Health Dermatology Center.

Soung, who is the medical chair for the Team NPF Walk to Cure Psoriasis in Orange County, will be sharing information about common triggers for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, as well as research about new treatment options at the upcoming More Than Skin Deep event.

This year’s series is titled Triggers, Treatment and You.

Learn about common triggers

Soung will speak at the Orange County event, but similar seminars will be held across the U.S., Soung said they are an excellent opportunity for those living with psoriatic disease to learn more about avoiding potential pitfalls that can trigger flares.

For example, many people know that stress can cause psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis to worsen, but did you know that strep infections can cause guttate psoriasis to flare? Certain prescriptions such as mood stabilizers and anti-hypertension medications like beta-blockers can also trigger itching and discomfort, Soung said.

On the other hand, Soung said patients sometimes ask her about avoiding certain foods. Certain diets, like paleo or gluten-free eating plans, can become popular and promise a lot of benefits. However, “There’s no scientific data to prove that any certain food causes psoriasis symptoms to become worse,” said Soung.

More treatments are coming

Those recently diagnosed with psoriatic disease can learn about treatment options. Soung also encourages those who have been living with psoriatic disease for awhile to attend a More Than Skin Deep event to learn about what’s on the horizon in terms of treatment.Soung also will be available to answer questions toward the end of the event.

“I think it’s great when patients want to learn more,” she said, “and this is a great opportunity.” 

Connect with others

Surveys from past events show that participants value the opportunity to connect with others living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. A participant from Atlanta’s More Than Skin Deep event appreciated meeting other people of color with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. 

“I left the workshop feeling empowered,” said one a participant from the More Than Skin Deep in New York last year. 

There’s also the advantage of connecting with others who have psoriasis, and benefitting from their experience, Soung said. When you hear other people’s questions, you know that other people are dealing with the same things too, and it helps you to feel connected.”  

Or as one participant in Houston stated “Knowing I’m not alone”. 

Register now for More Than Skin Deep.

Driving discovery, creating community

For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.

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