Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that results in the production of plaques of thickened, scaling skin. It is a non-contagious condition and the dry flakes of skin are produced by the rapid proliferation of skin cells. Such proliferation of the skin cells is triggered by chemicals that are produced by some white blood cells known as lymphocytes when there is inflammation in your body.
Psoriasis is often considered an incurable and long-term skin condition that can improve or worsen periodically. Even though you may be living with the condition, your skin may remain healthy and clear for years but they suddenly flare up due to cold weather conditions or due to certain foods you ate. If you have psoriasis, here are some foods you should avoid in order to prevent flare-ups.
If you have psoriasis, then alcohol is not an option for you. Alcohol dilates your blood vessels, which makes it easier for white blood cells and other T cells that are responsible for causing psoriasis to seep out into the outer layers of your skin.
Your chances of psoriasis flare-ups worsen if you are drink alcohol regularly. The only option is to give up drinking completely.1
2. Dairy Products
Dairy products contain a compound called arachidonic acid, which is a natural inflammatory compound. Even egg yolks are very high in arachidonic acid, due to which it is necessary to remove them from your diet completely. Cow’s milk also contains casein, which has been linked to inflammation. You can switch to soy milk, coconut milk, or almond milk instead.2
3. Junk Food
It comes as no surprise but junk food has no health benefit whatsoever. Not only do they increase your risk of heart diseases and make you gain excess weight, they also increase your risk of psoriasis outbreaks.
Since junk foods are high in processed sugars and starches, they can cause inflammation. Your health will benefit if you can learn to self-control and eliminate junk foods from your diet. If you can’t give up burgers and pizza, make your own healthy versions!3
4. Red Meat
Red meat is rich in a polyunsaturated fat called arachidonic acid, like dairy. Since this compound can easily be converted to inflammatory compounds, it can worsen the symptoms of psoriasis. In addition to avoiding red meat, you should avoid processed meats like sausage and bacon too. Try having fresh whole poultry instead.4
Sometimes, a psoriasis flare-up can be a result of an allergic reaction. Since citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, limes, and grapefruit are common allergens, it is better to remove them from a diet if you are suffering from psoriasis. You should also avoid the juices of these fruits too.5
If you are gluten sensitive, eating foods that contain gluten, like wheat, rye, and barley, can cause digestive issues and overall inflammation in your body. By avoiding such foods, you can keep psoriasis flare-ups at bay. If you already have a flare-up, having a gluten-free diet can help ease your symptoms.
Though the studies on this issue are still going on and the prospect of patients benefiting from a gluten-free diet is controversial, you can still avoid gluten when you have psoriasis flare-ups to prevent your condition from worsening.
It is always good to visit your doctor when you have psoriasis flare-ups as they may be able to prescribe medications that can help keep the flare-up under control. They can also be able to help you prevent infections that may occur on the damaged skin.
|↑1||Poikolainen, Kari, Timo Reunala, and Jaakko Karvonen. “Smoking, alcohol and life events related to psoriasis among women.” British Journal of Dermatology 130, no. 4. 1994.|
|↑2, ↑4||Ikai, Kouichi. “Psoriasis and the arachidonic acid cascade.” Journal of dermatological science 21, no. 3. 1999.|
|↑3||Wong, Ang Peng, Tatiana Kalinovsky, Aleksandra Niedzwiecki, and Matthias Rath. “Efficacy of nutritional treatment in patients with psoriasis: A case report.” Experimental and therapeutic medicine 10, no. 3. 2015.|
|↑5||Douglass, John M. “Psoriasis and diet.” Western Journal of Medicine 133, no. 5. 1980.|