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Smoking linked to skin disorder

Smoking appears to play a role in the risk of developing psoriasis as well as in the severity of this skin disease.

Smoking linked to skin disorder

Smoking appears to play a role in the risk of developing psoriasis as well as in the severity of this skin disease. American researchers from the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City compared the prevalence of smoking and obesity in 557 psoriasis patients with that seen in three population databases. Thirty-seven percent of psoriasis patients were smokers, whereas the percentage in the other groups was significantly lower, ranging from 13 percent to 25 percent. Similarly, obesity was noted in 34 percent of psoriasis patients compared with 18 percent of subjects. Further analysis of changes in body image perception over time suggested that, unlike smoking, obesity was a consequence rather than a cause of psoriasis. The researchers thought that obesity could affect the onset of psoriasis. This, however, did not seem to be the case. Rather, it appeared that psoriasis had an adverse effect on the body image, which may have lead the patients to adapt unhealthy lifestyles, such as excessive eating and limited exercise. In contrast, smoking seems to have a direct effect on psoriasis. The mechanism appears to involve adverse effects on the immune system. In the other study, researchers from Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata in Rome, analysed data from 818 psoriasis patients to assess the relationship between smoking and disease severity. Smoking more than 20 cigarettes per day, compared with smoking 10 or fewer, raised the risk of severe psoriasis by more than two-fold, the report indicates. Likewise, the duration and intensity of smoking were directly related to psoriasis severity, particularly in women. The above findings highlight the importance of smoking cessation in patients with psoriasis.
Archives of Dermatology,
December 2005
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