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Health Information Center

Risk Factors for Psoriasis

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Risk Factors for Psoriasis

A risk factor is something that raises the chances of getting a health problem. A person can get psoriasis with or without the ones listed below. The chances of getting it are greater in people who have many.

Psoriasis often starts before 40 years of age. Other things that can raise the risk are:


People who others in their family with this health problem may be more likely to get it.

Health Problems

Health problems that can trigger this problem are:

  • Tobacco use disorder
  • Skin injuries, such as cuts and burns
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Respiratory infections, such as strep throat
  • Stress
  • HIV
  • Hormone changes after delivery

Certain Medicines

Some medicines can raise the risk of this problem. Common ones are:

  • Beta-blockers: Used to treat high blood pressure
  • Lithium: Used to treat mental health problems
  • Some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as indomethacin: Used to ease pain and swelling.
  • Tetracyclines: An antibiotic used to treat infection
  • Some anti-malarial drugs, such as chloroquine


Cold, dry weather can trigger this problem. Limiting time spent outdoors and protecting the skin can help.


  • Psoriasis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/psoriasis. Accessed March 25, 2022.
  • Psoriasis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin diseases. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/psoriasis. Accessed March 25, 2022.
  • Psoriasis resource center. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis. Accessed March 25, 2022.


  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.