Why should I stop smoking if
I have psoriasis?

Living with a long-term condition like psoriasis can sometimes feel particularly stressful and hard to cope with. We know that more people with psoriasis smoke than those with other long-term conditions. It may be that having psoriasis leads to smoking because people believe it helps to manage stress. In fact smoking makes your psoriasis (and stress levels) worse!


What does this mean for me?

Having a cigarette can sometimes feel like a quick and useful way of relieving stress, but it may help to remind yourself that quite a lot of this response is actually caused by the addictive nature of smoking.
Stopping smoking will help to lower stress in the long-term.

Many people talk about the vicious cycle linking stress and psoriasis but sadly, smoking just makes all this worse. Smoking increases inflammation in the body and psoriasis is an inflammatory condition.


What does this mean for me?

The upside to this, however, is that stopping smoking will reduce inflammation and is also a great thing to do to improve your skin health (in addition to all the health benefits you will know about already such as preventing heart disease and many cancers).

Never give up on giving up smoking! The more you try, the better your chances.

After smoking a cigarette our bodies go into withdrawal from the nicotine it contains, causing us to feel physically stressed. As a result, when we have the next cigarette we experience temporary relief… until, of course, we feel like we need that next cigarette...


What does this mean for me?

If you have been using cigarettes in this way, you may want to look at one of the many healthy ways to reduce or cope with stress.

Expect and plan for a LAPSE (= a temporary slip)
Avoid a RELAPSE (= a return to smoking)

Remember a lapse doesn't have to lead to a relapse

Imagine yourself as a non-smoker. Perhaps set yourself a definite quit date. Who will be your biggest stop smoking fans?


  • Your family
  • Those around you
  • You (and your wallet!)

Patient’s top-tip

I thought the ‘stop smoking’ information didn’t apply to me. I believed cigarettes helped me manage stress which I thought triggered my
psoriasis. After speaking to my dermatologist I saw why it is so important to stop.

There have been so many positives to stopping smoking, even if it is fourth time lucky!

Nurse's top-tip

These days we have so many different ways to help you to stop smoking. Even if your first method doesn’t seem to be right for YOU, we have lots of
alternatives which work.

There is no single ‘right way’ but the stop smoking advisers are great at finding ways that work for you.

Stop-smoking expert

For more information about cutting back, or stopping smoking visit the 'Smokefree' website where you can also find your local support service

Make notes

Use this space to jot down any thoughts about smoking or changes you want to make.

My goals for going 'smokeless'

My 'smokeless' plans


WHAT I want to achieve


HOW am I going to achieve this?


WHAT I want to achieve


HOW am I going to achieve this?

Make time to go 'smokeless'

1. I will
2. I will

For further advice or information please consult your healthcare provider or psoriasis patient association in your region


The University of Manchester
Manchester Academic Health Science Centre
psoriasis association
Salford Royal NHS
Funded by NIHR
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