Psoriasis triggers

About Psoriasis

A psoriasis “trigger” is something that causes symptoms to flare. Triggers are not the same for everyone, but common triggers include:


  • Stress can cause symptoms to flare in people with psoriasis and can lead to the start of psoriasis in people who’ve never had symptoms before.


  • A common type of infection called a “streptococcal” infection (such as a strep throat) may trigger a type of psoriasis known as guttate psoriasis.

Injury to the skin

  • Sunburn and cuts, for example, can be triggers. Treating these injuries early can help avoid flares.

Some medicines

  • Certain medications can make psoriasis worse or cause flare-ups, such as:
    • Antimalarials
    • Some medications used to treat arthritis
    • Some blood pressure medications (such as the beta blocker “propranolol”)
    • A psychiatric drug known as “lithium”
  • The overuse or withdrawal of certain steroid medications (corticosteroids) can also lead to symptoms.

If you think your medication may be triggering your psoriasis, talk to your doctor before making any changes. 

Some less common triggers may include:

  • Allergies
  • Diet
  • Dry or cold weather
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol

Triggers are not the same for everyone.