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Does smoking and stress cause psoriasis?

Q: I am a 31 years old male suffering from scalp psoriasis. It’s in its initial stages and the doctor has asked me to take propylsalicylic lotion and primosa tablets. However, on applying the lotion, I feel heaviness and dampness in my head and a little burning sensation as well. I was under great stress for the last three years and also used to smoke heavily. Can psoriasis be attributed to stress and smoking? I have quit smoking for the past 10 days. Can my problem be treated by quitting smoking and reducing the level of stress?

A:Psoriasis is a chronic problem, which is characterised by remissions and exacerbation. It is usually more severe in the winters and spontaneously becomes less in summers. It usually starts over the scalp, but may start elsewhere. It may remain localised to an area for a long time or may involve other areas sooner than later. A number of factors are involved in its genesis. Environmental factors do play a role in triggering this disorder in genetically predisposed individuals and stress is one of them. A number of medicines are available to treat this problem. The choice will depend upon number factors, e.g. severity of the disease, location, side effects, individual preference, etc.

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