Smoking and how it can affect psoriasis

Psoriasis symptoms can be affected by different things. For some people, smoking can affect their psoriasis and it is thought that there is a relationship between smoking and psoriasis and that smoking may be a trigger.

Studies completed in 2005 have examined the effect of smoking on psoriasis for men and women and has found that for both genders, if they are smokers, there is an increased risk of developing plaque-type psoriasis which is the most common form of the disease and appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white build-up of dead skin cells. Studies have not yet found out why, but the increased incidence of psoriasis connected with smoking affects females more than males. Men who smoke more than 10 cigarettes per day displayed a worsening of their psoriasis in their extremities. For both men and women, their psoriasis took longer to improve when they were smokers.

The advice of all doctors is to stop smoking, try not to inhale second-hand smoke and definitely do not start smoking. If you already smoke then try to stop as it will only aggravate your psoriasis further.

Advisable tips for helping you to stop smoking are:

  • Talk to your GP – he/she may be able to help you by enrolling you onto a 'stop smoking' clinic, prescribing medication and nicotine replacement therapy such as patches and gum
  • Join an NHS stop smoking service. Via NHS Smokefree you will be given free support and advice.
    Learn more about how to deal with cravings with NHS support

Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. Our evidence based articles are accredited by the PIF TICK, the only UK quality mark for trustworthy health information. The content however should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands or treatments.

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Next review: 29 July 2022