Does obesity increase the risk of psoriasis?
Dr Chaithanya Ks
Banashankari, Bengaluru Dec 11, 2018
Psoriasis is a skin disease which is the result of the autoimmune disorder. People with psoriasis have red or white scaly, dry, and itchy skin and the degree of severity varies from one individual to another.
Obesity, on the other hand, is the state of being grossly fat or overweight. It is an epidemic which is growing at a very high rate and is responsible for a wide variety of health issues including cardiovascular problems and diabetes.
At the surface, there seems to be no link between the two, as psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder which seems to have no link with obesity. However, the research done so far shows a different result as there definitely seems to be an association between the two. It has been found that people with obesity are at a higher risk of psoriasis and vice-versa. Doctors yet do not know if obesity leads to psoriasis, or if it the other way round, and research is being done to find the exact link between the two.
Both obesity and psoriasis have one thing in common: a long-lasting inflammation. There is evidence which suggests that psoriasis is more common in obese people as compared to others. Fat cells are well capable of turning on inflammation in the body, and excessive fat cells (as found in obese people) can worsen the condition.
On the other hand, people with psoriasis may find it hard to work out due to various factors (difficulty in wearing clothes, psoriatic arthritis etc.). Besides, self-conscious people with psoriasis may also eat more to comfort themselves, which further contributes to obesity. Further, it has been found that people after a weight loss surgery report a significant improvement in symptoms related to psoriasis.
The bottom line being, though it is not yet clear if obesity leads to psoriasis or the other way round, it is definitely true that obesity increases the risk of psoriasis, and makes the condition worse in people already suffering from psoriasis. Hence, avoiding psoriasis is another reason why it is highly recommended to maintain healthy levels of body weight.
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