Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does living in dry climates contribute to psoriasis?"
I am a 29 year old female who recently moved to the southwest. Will this make my psoriasis worse?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by overproliferation of skin cells leading to characteristic erythematous lesions with a silver overlying scale. Much research has been done into the various environmental triggers for psoriasis, but there is unfortunately no clear answer to your question at this time. According to our best current studies, patients with psoriasis have decreased disease severity during the summer months, likely due to increased sun exposure (which helps with psoriasis and presumably would be present in the southwest states), and increased relative humidity (which likely would be the opposite of what you would encounter in the southwest). Which of these factors is more important is not well understood at present, so it remains possible your psoriasis will get worse OR get better, and it is unfortunately not possible to predict your individual reaction to the change in climate. Regardless of the change in climate, however, there are demonstrated things that you can do to help improve your psoriasis symptoms. Modifiable risk factors for psoriasis include cigarette smoking, obesity, and alcohol consumption, all of which have been associated with worsening disease. There are a number of medical therapies available, from topical creams to ultraviolet light therapy, should your symptoms worsen after your move. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a dermatologist soon after your move to track the course of your psoriasis and prescribe the individualized and appropriate therapies.
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