Psoriasis patients experiencing flare-ups during COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic causing psoriasis flare-ups
COVID-19 pandemic causing psoriasis flare-ups

HOUSTON – Although scientists still don’t know exactly what causes psoriasis, stress is a well-known trigger, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Meaning right now during the coronavirus pandemic, you might be more likely to have a flare-up.

Anita Mehta, MD, Chief of Dermatology at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, said she has noticed more patients experiencing this during the pandemic and thinks it could be for multiple reasons.

“[They’re] stressed, maybe they’re not eating as well, so it’s all tied together, most likely,” Mehta said.

Food intake doesn’t cause psoriasis, but it could be the cause of inflammation, which doesn’t help.

“We always recommend like a low inflammatory diet, so more fruits and vegetables. Less processed food. Less white sugars. The more plant-based diet is probably better because again, it decreases the inflammation in the body,” she explained.

She says increased handwashing during the pandemic won’t affect psoriasis patients as much as eczema patients, so that’s less of a concern.

However, she said household cleaners can hurt anyone’s skin too, especially right now since the skin is exposed to those more frequently. Even the fumes can cause skin problems among people who have sensitive skin.