Foods that can aggravate psoriasis symptoms

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Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While there’s no definitive cure, managing psoriasis often involves a combination of medications, lifestyle changes, and dietary choices.

Emerging research suggests that certain foods may worsen psoriasis symptoms and trigger flare-ups. In this review, we’ll explore these dietary triggers to help you make informed choices for better psoriasis management.

The Role of Inflammatory Foods

Inflammation plays a key role in the development and exacerbation of psoriasis. Foods that promote inflammation can lead to more severe symptoms.

Among the culprits are processed foods high in sugar and unhealthy fats. These foods can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and contribute to systemic inflammation, potentially aggravating psoriasis symptoms.

Research Evidence:

  • A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that people with psoriasis who consumed a diet high in sugar-sweetened beverages and red meat were more likely to experience severe psoriasis symptoms.

Beware of Gluten

For some individuals with psoriasis, gluten-containing foods may be problematic. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and it can trigger an autoimmune response in people with celiac disease.

While psoriasis is not an autoimmune disorder like celiac disease, there is evidence to suggest that some individuals with psoriasis may also benefit from reducing gluten intake.

Research Evidence:

  • A study in JAMA Dermatology reported that individuals with psoriasis who tested positive for celiac disease antibodies experienced significant improvements in their skin after adopting a gluten-free diet.

Nightshade Vegetables and Psoriasis

Nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants contain compounds known as alkaloids, which may exacerbate inflammation in some people.

Although the link between nightshades and psoriasis is not fully understood and affects only a subset of individuals, it’s worth considering if you suspect a connection.

Research Evidence:

  • While scientific studies on this topic are limited, anecdotal reports and patient testimonials suggest that some people with psoriasis experience symptom relief when they reduce their consumption of nightshade vegetables.


Psoriasis management involves a multifaceted approach, and dietary choices can play a role in symptom control.

Foods that promote inflammation, such as processed foods high in sugar and unhealthy fats, should be minimized to potentially reduce the severity of psoriasis symptoms.

For individuals who suspect gluten sensitivity, exploring a gluten-free diet may be beneficial, although consultation with a healthcare provider is advisable.

Nightshade vegetables, while generally considered healthy for most people, may be worth monitoring for individuals who believe they worsen their psoriasis symptoms.

Keep in mind that psoriasis triggers can vary from person to person, so it’s crucial to pay attention to your body’s responses and work with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to create a personalized dietary plan.

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