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Stress and Psoriasis

Stress and Psoriasis

Is it true that Stress is the #1 Trigger for Psoriasis?

The short answer is Yes! Stress play a big role in many conditions and a big factor for Psoriasis as well. Psoriasis is a complex condition with so many other underlying conditions linked to it, as they say, “More than skin deep.” As we speak to more and more people within the Psoriasis community[1], we are certain that Stress is by far the number one flare-trigger, and very often, it is the cause of Psoriasis outbreaks.

Many people within the communities across Social Media have reported that their Psoriasis began during a stressful event or was a result of traumatic stress or depression and we also found a study that was conducted on psoriatic patients, and 60% of the patients strongly believed that stress was a causal factor for their psoriasis[2].

So if stress is a significant factor, could we reverse the negative effect or at least reduce the damage by managing stress? How does stress affect our body and why and how does it trigger flareups and even outbreaks? Let’s look into more details.


What is stress?

In simple words, Stress is a feeling of emotional, physical tension, it could make you feel sad, overwhelmed, fatigued, nervous, and it can cause changes in eating habits and even keep you awake at nights. We all experience stress on a daily basis with all kinds of situations like deadlines, conflicts, loss, loneliness, health conditions, uncertainty, financial challenges so on.


What type of stress are you experiencing?

There are three common types of stress you could be experiencing, Acute Stress, Episodic Acute Stress, and Chronic stress, why do you need to be aware of stress types? Selfcare starts with selfawareness. Since stress is a trigger for some people, being aware of its types and paradigm could be highly beneficial and by managing and offloading stress you could take better control of Psoriasis.

1) Acute Stress

Acute stress disorder (ASD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by a cluster of dissociative and anxiety symptoms occurring within one month of a traumatic event. Described as Short term Stress, acute stress caused by reactive thinking, repetitive and negative thoughts of a recent event, or upcoming deadline.

2) Episodic Acute Stress

When acute stress happens frequently or for an extended period, it becomes episodic acute stress. Also, episodic acute stress may often affect people with what is known as the “type A”[3] personality – ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, impatient, anxious, proactive, and concerned with time management. They react more strongly to minor triggers; as a result, they are at risk of being constantly under pressure.

3) Chronic Stress

Chronic stress is the response to emotional pressure suffered for a prolonged period. People suffering from Chronic stress may require professional help and attention to overcome and to prevent more serious health problems.


How stress affects our body? 

dont-allow-stress-and-tension-to-pile-up psoriasis triggers

Stress triggers hormonal changes in our body in an instant, and stress is indeed one of the main causes of hormonal imbalances in our body. Reactions to stress are also known as the “fight-or-flight” response and triggered by stress hormones; this reaction works to help someone to fight the threat off or flee to safety.

Adrenaline, and Cortisol which is called the primary stress hormone play an essential positive role in our health when in good balance, too much or too little production of these hormones could be lead to health problems. Generally, this is how stress could affect our body systems;

1) Respiratory system

You breathe harder and quicker, with prolonged stress and anxiety, you might experience shortness breath (you must consult your doctor if you are experiencing shortness of breath).

2) Musculoskeletal system

You might experience muscle and body tension, and prolonged stress and frequent tension could lead to back pains and frequent neck stiffness.

3) Cardiovascular system

When we are stressed, our hearts beat faster, and some studies[4] suggest that long term stress and high levels of cortisol can increase blood cholesterol levels, triglycerides, blood sugar (glucose), and blood pressure.

4) Digestion and Gastrointestinal system

Stress has a major influence on Gastrointestinal functions. Due to stress, you might experience indigestion, heartburn, nausea and vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and it also imbalances gut bacteria and causes inflammation.

5) Nervous system

Stress might cause you to have headaches, insomnia, and even depression.

6) Immune system

In a series of experiments with mice, they found that during acute stress, T cells selectively redistributed into the skin, where they contributed to the enhancement of the immune response. In contrast, during chronic stress, T cells were shunted away from the skin, and the immune response to skin test challenge was diminished (Dhabhar & McEwen, 1997). On the basis of these findings, they proposed a biphasic model in which acute stress enhances, and chronic stress suppresses the immune response[5].

7) Endocrine system

Long-term exposure to stress can lead to changes in the serum level of many hormones, including glucocorticoids, disorders like Graves’ disease, gonadal dysfunction, psychosexual dwarfism, and obesity. Stress can also alter the clinical status of many preexisting endocrine disorders such as precipitation of adrenal crisis and thyroid storm[6].

How we respond to stress and its effects on our body differs from person to person, depending on our age, psychosocial health, and personality.


Why stress triggers Psoriasis Flare-Ups? 

Because Psoriasis reacts to Several external factors and internal hormonal changes[7]. Successful Treatment of psoriasis relies on treating the condition from the inside. We focus on diet and digestive system, thyroid function, and immune system, but stress directly affects all those areas at once, and Hormonal imbalance causes not only the above changes in our body systems but also Psoriasis Flareups.

Stressed with no reason?

Be aware of invisible causes!

How to manage stress and improve your overall health and Psoriasis?

How would you Describe Stress?

We asked our amazing instagram community:

  • How would you describe stress?
  • Does Psoriasis stress you? If yes, Would you say it is the main reason for your stress?
  • Do you take time to offload stress and how?

This is what they had to say


Disclaimer: Dear reader, any and all the content on OffPsoriasis.com Is created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

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