A trigger is anything that either:
- Sets off a disease in people who are predisposed to developing it, or
- Causes certain symptoms to occur (or get much worse) in a person who already has a disease/condition.
People who already have psoriasis, may find that these triggers make symptoms start or become worse:
- Alcohol consumption (especially heavy alcohol consumption).
- Infections - in some cases infections can trigger psoriasis. Dermatologists say that patients with a family history of the condition get strep throat and develop their first psoriasis lesions within a couple of weeks, especially guttate psoriasis. Candida albicans - a thrush infection may aggravate inverse psoriasis symptoms.
- HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
- Boils (staphylococcal skin infections)
- Viral upper respiratory conditions. If the infection is treated, symptoms often lessen or clear completely.
- A skin cut, scrape, sunburn, or insect bite.
- Mental stress
- Cold weather
- Some medications - some patients already with psoriasis may experience a flare-up, while others may have psoriasis for the first time after taking certain types of medications:
- Anti-malarial drugs - experts say people may develop symptoms for the first time after taking these medications.
- Beta-blockers - used for treating angina, high blood pressure (hypertension), some abnormal heart rhythms, heart failure, myocardial infarction (heart attack), anxiety, overactive thyroid symptoms, glaucoma and migraine. Symptoms worsen for some patients with psoriasis.
- Corticosteroids - these medications can be very effective in the treatment of psoriasis symptoms. However, overuse and sudden withdrawal may in some cases aggravate symptoms.
- Some non-steroidal medications used for treating arthritis and other inflammatory conditions - such as Indomethacin, may aggravate symptoms.
- Lithium - used in the treatment of bipolar disorder and some other psychiatric conditions, may aggravate symptoms in a significant number of psoriasis patients.
- Ace-inhibitors - used for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure). May aggravate symptoms in psoriasis patients.
The following infections may also trigger psoriasis: