Why does smoking worsen psoriasis?
Smoking can increase the risk of many complications and diseases.
One of them is psoriasis.
Why smoking puts us at risk for skin health complications is still under investigation.
This is believed to be due to the effects of smoking on the immune system and inflammation in the body.
How can smoking affect psoriasis?
Many studies have shown that smoking increases the risk of developing psoriasis.
Heavy smokers have almost twice the risk of developing psoriasis compared to those who have never smoked.
There are many reasons why smoking can lead to psoriasis:
Smoking causes oxidative stress and increases the production of free radicals.
Nicotine causes reactions that lead to psoriasis. Nicotine is a substance in tobacco found in cigarettes. When smoking, nicotine causes the body to release more cytokines. These are proteins that influence the interaction between cells. All this can lead to the development of psoriasis.
In psoriasis, the body’s inflammatory response causes skin cells to grow faster.
There is an overproduction of skin cells.
They begin to accumulate and create the scaly texture that is characteristic of psoriasis.
Smoking is associated with the synthesis of more molecules that control the immune system – free radicals and cytokines.
When too many free radicals accumulate in the body and it cannot deal with them, oxidative stress occurs.
This condition can cause cell damage and inflammation.
Smoking also disrupts communication between cells, aided by cytokines.
This can lead to an immune response that causes psoriasis.
If psoriasis runs in the family, it may be due to genetic causes.
Smoking can activate these genes.
Experts believe that smoking affects the aryl hydrocarbon receptors in DNA.
This increases the production of inflammatory cytokines in the body.
With an established genetic risk for psoriasis, smoking can further increase the risk.
If psoriasis is diagnosed, smoking can worsen the condition.
It also makes treatment difficult.
It may not be as effective in smokers as it is in non-smokers.
Recent studies have shown that patients with psoriasis and smoking may have a greater need for more intensive treatment to achieve the desired therapeutic efficacy.