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Weight Loss May Help Improve Psoriasis Symptoms

weight loss scale

Psoriasis is more than just a skin condition – it is an inflammatory process that can excess weight can worsen.


Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes raised, red and scaly patches to appear on the skin. It is associated with other serious health conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Excess weight can further exacerbate symptoms as it causes stress on major organs and worsens inflammation.

Danish researchers are reporting that obese people with psoriasis who can lose 10 to 15 percent of their weight may see significant and lasting improvements in their symptoms and quality of life.

The team studied 56 patients over a very long-term weight loss program. Average weight at the start of the program was 235 pounds. Among the 32 patients who completed the study, the average weight loss during the first 16 weeks was 33 pounds. Scores on the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index and the Dermatology Life Quality Index also improved over the study time period.

Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC, sees another positive benefit for psoriasis patients who are able to lose weight. "When I help patients get their psoriasis under control, they lose weight because they feel better about themselves and they want to take better care of themselves. It's really quite powerful," she said.

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"Doctors should tell their patients with psoriasis about the association between obesity and psoriasis and, in obese patients, advise weight loss," says Lone Skoy MD of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

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SOURCE: Lone Skov, M.D., department of dermatology and allergy, Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Doris Day, M.D., dermatologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Dec. 22, 2016, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Additional Resource: National Psoriasis Foundation

Photo Credit: By Michiel1972 at nl.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0