Although some detox diets may claim to treat psoriasis, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims. Overly restrictive diets may also lead to nutritional deficiencies and associated health risks.

Detox diets include juice or liquid diets, fasting, or heavily restricting certain foods or calorie intake.

Detox diets for psoriasis may claim to reduce inflammation or remove toxins from the body to improve symptoms. However, more research is necessary to determine whether people can use diet to treat psoriasis symptoms.

This article examines the link between food and psoriasis, whether any dietary changes may be beneficial, the potential risks of detox diets, and when to contact a doctor.

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Some diets claim to help treat psoriasis. Psoriasis detox diets may suggest they cleanse or remove toxins from the body and reduce inflammation to treat psoriasis.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), detox diets can include the following:

However, there is little quality evidence on the effects of detox or restrictive diets for psoriasis.

According to a 2019 clinical review, research has not found a single diet that has a significant, positive impact on psoriasis.

However, certain dietary changes may help people in some cases. For example, the review’s authors suggest a gluten-free diet may benefit people with high levels of antigliadin, an antibody that people with psoriasis commonly have higher levels of.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet may help people maintain a moderate weight or lose excess weight. Excess weight and higher body mass index are risk factors for psoriasis and may link to high psoriasis severity.

A 2020 review associates diets high in fruit and vegetables with lower rates of psoriasis and suggests there may be a link between a vegetarian diet and improvements in people with psoriasis. This improvement may be due to a higher antioxidant intake.

Adding anti-inflammatory foods to a balanced diet may also be helpful for some people. A 2021 review suggests diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, may help improve chronic inflammation.

However, the review’s authors highlight that more research is necessary, despite the promising potential.

Eliminating food triggers

An elimination diet may help improve psoriasis symptoms and prevent inflammation from progressing. An elimination diet removes possible food triggers gradually to see if symptoms improve.

People can keep track of the foods they eat and any symptoms to see if there may be links between their diet and psoriasis flares.

A 2020 article suggests the following foods may worsen psoriasis:

  • saturated fats
  • simple sugars
  • red meat
  • alcohol

Learn more foods to avoid with psoriasis.

Certain detox diets may be overly restrictive and could lead to nutritional deficiencies or imbalances.

For example, although some people with psoriasis may benefit from cutting out gluten, gluten-free diets can lack nutrients, and many gluten-free products may also be high in sugar, fat, and sodium.

Fasting and drinking large quantities of fluids, such as water or herbal teas, may cause dangerous health conditions, including an electrolyte imbalance.

Detoxification diets that heavily restrict calories may also cause side effects, such as:

People should talk with a healthcare professional before trying a detox or restrictive diet for psoriasis.

The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends seeing a doctor before trying a gluten-free diet or taking any supplements.

If people are looking to lose weight to help manage psoriasis symptoms, they can also talk with a doctor about healthy and sustainable ways to lose weight.

Working alongside a healthcare professional may help reduce the risk of nutritional deficiencies when making dietary changes.

There is little evidence to support the use of detox or restrictive diets for psoriasis. However, eating a balanced diet and maintaining a moderate weight may improve symptoms and decrease the risk of comorbidities.

Detox diets can lead to nutritional deficiencies and other potential health problems. People should speak with a healthcare professional before attempting detox diets to treat psoriasis.

Alternatively, they can work with a healthcare professional to eliminate trigger foods, such as alcohol, from their diet.