Foods to Avoid if You Have Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an unpredictable, persistent, and inflammatory skin disorder. It occurs when skin cells multiply up to 10 times fast than normal. As underlying cells reach the skin’s surface and die, the volume causes raised, red plaques covered in white scales. It is typically found on the knees, elbows and scalp, but can also affect the torso, palms and soles of the feet.

There is no definitive research to back up many psoriasis patients’ claims that a modified diet helps them significantly, however, dropping weight, reducing cholesterol and lowering blood sugar can be a positive step in the direction of recovery and relief. It is easy to feel helpless when you’re affected by something like this, but keep in mind the benefits a lifestyle change will incur.

In 2014, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology linked obesity to a heightened risk for psoriatic disease. Fat cells secrete cytokines, which are proteins that trigger inflammation. A higher BMI was found to elevate risk for developing psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis, as well as increase the severity of the disease.

In another study conducted the same year by the British Journal of Dermatology, an association between weight loss and the reduced severity of psoriasis was discovered. Dr. Luigi Naldi noted the clear correlation in patients between weight loss and improvement of psoriasis.

While this article isn’t completely dedicated to weight loss plan, or even a diet plan, it’s always good to take a step in the direction of improving your health. Many people with psoriasis have claimed that a diet change has improved their condition, which actually cant be too surprising, because different foods do affect us in many ways (inflammation, relaxing…etc.). As a patient of psoriasis, it’s important to know which foods you should stay away from, specifically, foods that cause inflammation (since psoriasis is an inflammatory disorder). 

Stay Away From:


Dairy products contain naturally inflammatory arachidonic acid, namely cow’s milk, because it also contains the inflammatory protein casein. Egg yolks are also high in arachidonic acid, so you’ll just have to stick with egg white omelettes from now on.


Alcohol opens the blood vessels in the skin. When your blood vessels are dilated, white blood cells, including the T cells that are believed to be responsible for psoriasis, can sneak into the outer layers of your skin more easily. It might be hard to cut alcohol from your life, but just keep in mind how much good it will do you.

Red Meat

Red meat also contains arachidonic acid, which can be converted into inflammatory compounds. Avoid processed foods like sausages and bacon also.

Plants of the Nightshade Family

These include white potatoes, eggplants, and peppers. Foods from this particular group contain solanine, and can trigger flares. It hasn’t yet been proven, but all signs point to avoiding these vegetables.


Gluten is a protein found in some grains including rye, wheat and barley. Researchers in Portugal found that psoriasis patients with gluten sensitivity improved after cutting gluten from their diets. In a world with Whole Foods and, it’s not hard to find gluten free food products anywhere.

Condiments and Spices

Condiments including pimento, cinnamon, curry, vinegar, mayo, paprika, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup are on the no-no list for many psoriasis patients who have said that these cause problems for them. Many of these condiments contain spice and MSG, which are triggers for a flare up.


Citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, grapefruits and limes have been found to be common allergens. In some cases, an allergic reaction can cause your psoriasis to flare up. This includes citrus products like orange and grapefruit juice.

Candy and Junk Food

Junk foods are often very high in saturated and trans fats, and refined starches and sugars, which all can cause inflammation. They are high in calories with very low nutritional value, and cause weight problems. Already, people with psoriasis have an increased chance of heart disease, and being overweight adds to that problem.

Sticking to an inflammatory-free diet won’t only help psoriasis. Heart diseases and Crohn’s are both caused by inflammation, so avoiding these foods will benefit the health of those who suffer from any of these diseases. Stick to a healthy diet free of these foods, and see if your condition improves. 


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