How Can Smoking Affect Psoriasis?

It has been well documented that smoking is a bad habit, which can cause serious risks to your health including various heart, lung ailments, and the other type of disease that can be added to the list of smoking-related disorders – psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that is not contagious or life-threatening, but it causes itchy and sometimes embarrassing red, scaly patches on the skin. Psoriasis can also affect the nails and joints.

Researchers have found that smoking increases the risk of developing psoriasis, heavier smoking increases the risk further, and the risk decreases only slowly after quitting.

How can smoking affect psoriasis?
How Can Smoking Affect Psoriasis?

If you have a family history of psoriasis, then you need to be more cautious about it. You need to make sure that your children must stay away from smoking because smoking can active the psoriasis causing genes in your children, which would eventually result in the development of psoriasis in them.

Generally a cigarette contains more than 4000 chemicals and out of them, there are roughly 70 cancer causing chemicals pressent. One of the chief ingredients of cigarette, Nicotine can be a possible culprit affecting our body’s immunity in a negative way and increase the growth of skin cells. Moreover, nicotine increases skin inflammation as well.

How about if you’re just a passive smoker?

Passive smoking, on the other hand, means inhaling smoke which is exhaled by another person who is smoking near by. Even if you don’t smoke, but you spend enough time in the vicinity of other people who smoke (especially in closed environments), then also you are doing injustice to your skin because breathing in such an environment would make you inhale a lot of harmful smoke which can trigger your psoriasis.

In a prolonged study covering more than 78000 nurses, their health conditions were monitored for 14 years. In this study, it was concluded that nurses who smoke were more vulnerable to psoriasis attack than non smokers. Also, they found passive smoking (second hand smoking) as a culprit as well. The nurses who themselves don’t smoke, but share their rooms with other nurses who smoke were at a higher risk of developing psoriasis than those non smoker nurses who don’t experience passive smoking.

So, what are you going to do now? How Can Smoking Affect Psoriasis?

Sure, there’s still much that’s not yet known about just how smoking causes this increased risk and severity. Not everyone sees a change in their symptoms after quitting.

Researchers continue to investigate the ins and outs of this correlation. Regarding the research that exists today, researchers say that it’s a topic that doctors should be addressing with all psoriasis patients.

Given our knowledge that smoking increases the risk of developing psoriasis and makes psoriasis more severe, it is important to have this discussion with our patients. The immune system can respond positively to healthy diet and lifestyle changes and quitting smoking is an important part of this behavioral change,” says Ronald Prussick, MD, an assistant clinical professor at George Washington University and the medical director of the Washington Dermatology Center in Rockville, MD.

Whether you consider quitting for yourself, for your children, or a reason that’s entirely unique to you, know that you can do it.


Image Credits: dental-tribune, psoriasis.newlifeoutlook, feminiya, healthline