Eric Bakker N.D.May 31, 2022

There are many possible causes of psoriasis, ranging from genetic to environmental. Let's take a look at some psoriasis causes.


What Causes Psoriasis?

Throughout my years of working with numerous psoriasis patients, I have consistently found that their health problems are always rooted in specific causes. These causes typically fall into two categories: the primary cause, which initiates or contributes to the health issue, and the maintaining causes, which perpetuate the problem over time.

The Primary Cause

Do you recall the primary (exciting) cause or causes of your past health issues? Was it perhaps a course of antibiotics taken after a cough, cold, or infection? Many individuals have experienced ongoing health challenges after multiple courses of antibiotics.

When discussing this in my office, I often note “NBWS” (never been well since) next to such events, marking them as potential primary causes. Consider events that occurred just before your symptoms started, such as leaving the hospital or returning from a trip. Reflect on any drugs or treatments that coincided with the onset of your psoriasis.

It is unwise to assume that psoriasis emerges without a cause—it typically has a trigger. By investigating the timeline of your condition, you may uncover when this issue initially arose.

Primary causes are often more noticeable and are closely linked to the onset of symptoms. Many patients can recall these primary causes. However, as individuals age and live with psoriasis for many years, their memory may fade, making it more challenging to identify the primary cause.

The Maintaining Cause

Discovering maintaining causes is often easier as they are ongoing and can be identified through a bit of detective work. There are often several maintaining causes for psoriasis, or sometimes one significant factor, such as frequently eating chocolate or daily alcohol consumption.

What actions are contributing to your psoriasis? Is it related to your diet, lifestyle, or both? Do you experience excessive worry or anxiety? Do you regularly stay up late and lack sufficient sleep? Do you consume commercially raised chicken that may contain antibiotics? These factors could contribute to stress or adrenal fatigue.

Maintaining causes can stem from dietary choices, lifestyle habits, or a combination of both. For instance, a diet high in processed foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms. Additionally, chronic stress and lack of sleep can weaken the immune system, making it harder for the body to manage inflammation.

Identifying and Addressing Causes

Understanding the primary and maintaining causes of your psoriasis is crucial for managing and resolving flares. By taking a comprehensive look at your health history and current habits, you can begin to identify patterns and triggers.

Dietary Changes:

Consider adopting an anti-inflammatory diet rich in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoiding common triggers like gluten, dairy, and processed foods can also be beneficial.

Lifestyle Modifications:

Incorporate regular exercise, stress management techniques like yoga or meditation, and ensure you get adequate sleep each night.

Mind-Body Connection:

Pay attention to your mental health. Practices such as mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, and regular relaxation can help manage stress levels and improve overall well-being.


For a deeper dive into primary and maintaining causes, refer to my other writings on psoriasis. This understanding is crucial for resolving psoriasis flares. Addressing the underlying causes is key, and the sooner you do, the faster you’ll be on the road to recovery. By taking a proactive approach to identifying and managing these causes, you can significantly improve your quality of life and reduce the impact of psoriasis on your daily activities.

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