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Psoriasis, alcohol and smoking

Psoriasis is a complex, multifactorial disease, with both genetic and environmental origins. A number of external trigger and/or contributing factors have been identified. Alcohol and smoking are often cited. It is true that clinical studies have shown that these toxic substances contribute to maintained inflammation in psoriasis. In other words, psoriasis and alcohol and/or psoriasis and smoking are not a good mix.

Alcohol and tobacco: factors responsible for psoriasis flare-ups

At each consultation, the dermatologist will likely ask about the factors responsible for flare-ups. When the question of alcohol and tobacco use arises, you shouldn't lie, on the contrary! Being able to connect flare-ups to a specific causative factor is the first step towards better understanding and management of the disease.

Alcohol and tobacco use can also be seen as a consequence of psoriasis, as it can in some ways help patients to live with psoriasis and to cope with the stress and discomfort that the disease causes. Drinking and smoking may help you to think about something else or even to stop thinking at all, allowing you to forget about the pain the disease causes and the disruption to daily life. 

But alcohol and tobacco use can have serious consequences and can quickly become addictive. It can also interact with various psoriasis treatments and make them less effective. Alcohol and tobacco cause harm to many organs: the liver, lungs, heart, brain, etc.

However, if you are trapped in a vicious circle of psoriasis and alcohol use and/or psoriasis and smoking, there is only one solution: talk to someone about it! Whether it’s your doctor, a friend or family member, or a patient association, it’s important to break the isolation and put your addiction into words. Quitting smoking or drinking is never easy, but solutions can be developed on a case-by-case basis.

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