While scientific research has not definitively linked what you eat to psoriasis flare-ups, many sufferers report that cutting out certain foods and drinks can relieve painful symptoms.

Psoriasis is a skin condition that impacts millions of people. It can cause cells to build up on the skin’s surface. These extra cells can make skin itchy and dry, and painful red patches can appear.

At Dermatology Associates P.C. in Norwood, Foxboro and Franklin, our staff can help you develop skin care plans to protect your skin, and offer treatments to help with psoriasis. To learn about our programs and treatments, or to schedule an appointment, contact Dermatology Associates today.

The publication www.everydayhealth.com recently reported on foods and drinks that people with psoriasis say can cause flare-ups. You may want to try removing these from your diet to help determine if doing so reduces flare-ups:

  • Alcohol: Alcohol opens blood vessels in the skin. When blood vessels are dilated, T cells that are believed to be behind psoriasis can more easily enter the outer layers of your skin. Even social drinkers who consume alcohol infrequently may see psoriasis symptoms worsen when they drink.
  • Junk food: These foods usually are packed with saturated and trans fats, refined starches and sugars. All of these can cause inflammation. Junk foods are typically loaded with calories, and many who suffer from psoriasis are also overweight.
  • Red Meat: Contains a fat known as arachidonic acid, which can make psoriasis symptoms worsen. Processed meats — think sausage and bacon — should also be no-nos.
  • Dairy Products: These also contain arachidonic acid. And milk contains the protein casein, which has been known to increase inflammation. Egg yolks also are high in arachidonic acid, so you may want to remove them from your diet as well.
  • Some psoriasis sufferers have said peppers, eggplant, white potatoes and tomatoes have exacerbated their psoriasis. These all contain solanine, which is a chemical compound that can cause pain in some people.
  • Citrus Fruit: Allergic reactions can prompt psoriasis flare-ups. Grapefruit, lemons, oranges and limes can be problematic. Try removing these fruits from your diet and see if it improves your skin. You also may want to eliminate drinks such as lemonade, grapefruit juice and orange juice.
  • Gluten: This is a protein found in grains including rye, barley and wheat. Researchers in Europe report that psoriasis symptoms in subjects sensitive to gluten saw their skin conditions improve after they removed gluten from their diets. Studies are still being performed and it’s unclear if gluten-free diets can help psoriasis patients.
  • Condiments: Some psoriasis sufferers have labeled spices and condiments as enemies of their skin. Some that are the most problematic are pimento, curry, cinnamon, vinegar, paprika, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Substances in these condiments may cause inflammation.

While experts acknowledge that direct links between psoriasis and what we eat have yet to be established, anecdotal evidence from sufferers indicates that changes in diet can help ease painful symptoms.

Try eliminating some of the above items from your diet and see if it helps your skin. You may be pleased with the results.