Smoking is dangerous to the health. In addition to that, smoking can also promote and even trigger psoriasis.

Psoriasis can trigger plaques

The causes of psoriasis (plaques, scales, and other symptoms) and psoriatic arthritis have not yet been fully elucidated. However, it is assumed that the combination of genetic predisposition with a trigger stimulus, the so-called trigger, sets in motion an inflammatory process, which then takes a chronic course. These triggers also cause renewed episodes of the disease. In addition to stress, alcohol consumption, hormonal fluctuations, infectious diseases, and certain medications, triggers also include smoking. Therefore, smoking can trigger a psoriasis flare. Smoking is suspected not only to trigger psoriasis but also to make it worse. Smokers have a doubled risk of developing psoriasis than non-smokers. Heavy smokers, in particular, are a high-risk group for psoriasis. Cigarette consumption attacks the immune system and worsens the symptoms. Inflammation is increased and the skin heals more slowly.

Regular nicotine consumption can have consequences for skin that is already affected by psoriasis. The blood vessels constrict, the skin is less well supplied with blood and oxygen. This can have a significant impact on the inflammatory process. Pimples, injuries or inflammation of the skin heal more slowly. Smoking also deprives the skin of collagen, a protein that keeps the skin firm and elastic. By stopping smoking, you can reduce the stress on your skin and thus possibly have a positive effect on your course of the disease.

Smoking affects therapy

Existing therapies are also less effective for smoking and psoriasis. Psoriatic patients often take medications that have anti-inflammatory effects and are supposed to keep the disease in check. This effect can be canceled out by inflammatory cigarette consumption. So, smoking can even limit the effects of medication.

It’s worth stopping

In order to steer the course of the disease in a positive way, psoriasis patients should better stop smoking. Another reason: Psoriasis patients often suffer from comorbidities. In addition to diabetes, this also includes high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases, which are also promoted by smoking and thus further burden the health. Stopping smoking can not only have a positive effect on your psoriasis disease but can also minimize the risk of comorbidities. In addition, stopping smoking can bring other benefits for e.g. lung function, cancer risk, and quality of life.

Many patients are afraid of gaining weight from stopping smoking. Since overweight, in turn, has a negative impact on psoriasis, this should be avoided. However, weight gain is not necessarily a result of smoking cessation. Tobacco smoke stimulates metabolism and curbs appetite, but you can counteract the weight gain, for example by light exercise, sufficient fluid intake, and a balanced diet.

Many non-smokers often use sweets to distract themselves. Instead, grab healthy snacks such as vegetable sticks or fruit.

The benefits of quitting smoking for psoriasis patients are obvious. If cigarette exposure stops, it is possible that medication will work better again and psoriasis attacks will decrease in frequency and duration.