Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation both on your skin and inside your body. Due to chronic inflammation, psoriasis can damage your cardiovascular system over time and increase your risk of heart problems.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis causes characteristic scaly, patchy plaques on the skin that can be itchy and painful. Plaques form due to unusually rapid turnover of skin cells. Joints are affected in about one-third of individuals with the condition.
Psoriasis, like other autoimmune illnesses, provokes an exaggerated immune response against the body tissues, leading to inflammation throughout your body. This inflammation can affect several systems in the body over time, including the cardiovascular system.
What is the link between psoriasis and cardiovascular disease?
Psoriasis has been linked to several cardiovascular conditions, even in those whose symptoms of the disease are being managed.
Although the relationship between psoriasis and cardiovascular disease has been a source of debate for some time, growing data supports the belief that psoriasis increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. People who have any kind of psoriasis have approximately three times higher risk of getting a heart attack than people who do not have psoriasis.
Psoriasis and heart disease
Chronic inflammation can cause artery blockages, which in turn leads to an elevated risk of cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and strokes.
When inflammation occurs in the blood vessels, plaque can build up within the walls of the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis. Blood flow to the heart may slow down or even stop entirely, thus increasing the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
Some psoriasis treatments can also result in abnormal cholesterol levels, which may cause the arteries to stiffen and increase the risk of heart attack. Those who suffer from psoriasis are also at an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Psoriatic arthritis and heart arrhythmia
Psoriatic arthritis affects many people with psoriasis at some point in their lives. Studies have shown that psoriatic arthritis is associated with an increased risk of arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm) and other cardiovascular issues.
People who suffer from psoriasis are more likely to have risk factors for heart disease such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure (hypertension), and elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). It is unknown why this is the case, but it may shed light on why some individuals who have psoriasis also have heart problems.
4 ways to reduce the risk of a cardiovascular disease
What you put into your body has a huge impact on your psoriasis and your heart health. Eat a heart-healthy diet rich in the following:
- Whole grains
- Lean protein
- Healthy fats (olive and flaxseed oils)
- Omega-3 fatty acids, which lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries
Exercising regularly is crucial in maintaining a healthy weight and promoting optimal heart function. Examples of exercises to include in your regimen include:
3. Reduce stress
Reducing stress can have a huge impact on your overall health. Stress is a known risk factor for many conditions, including psoriasis and heart disease. Manage your stress levels with relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation.
4. Avoid smoking
Smoking increases your risk of developing psoriasis flare-ups and developing heart disease. Talk to your doctor about strategies and medications available that can help you quit the habit.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Habashy J. Psoriasis. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1943419-overview
National Psoriasis Foundation/USA. Getting at the Heart of Psoriasis. https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/getting-at-the-heart-of-psoriasis/
Jindal S, Jindal N. Psoriasis and Cardiovascular Diseases: A Literature Review to Determine the Causal Relationship. Cureus. 2018;10(2):e2195. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5898839/
Top How Psoriasis Affects the Cardiovascular System Related Articles
Biologics (Biologic Drug Class)A biologic drug is a product that is produced from living organisms or contain components of living organisms. Biologics include recombinant proteins, tissues, genes, allergens, cells, blood components, blood, and vaccines. Biologics are used to treat numerous disease and conditions, for example, anemia, chronic migraine, hepatitis B, hemophilia, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) prophylaxis, HPV prevention, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease.
Can Psoriasis Go Away?Psoriasis is a skin disease that develops due to changes in genetic makeup, and most often, it is passed from your parents (hereditary). It may also occur due to changes in the immune system, autoimmune response, in which your own antibodies start attacking the cells of your body. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition that has no definite cure and only the symptoms can be managed.
Can Psoriasis Lead to Psoriatic Arthritis?It is well established that both psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis are linked. Nearly 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis.
clobetasolClobetasol is a synthetic topical corticosteroid used as cream, gel, spray, lotion, ointment, and shampoo for temporary relief from symptoms of plaque psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions. Prolonged use in children can affect their growth and development. Common side effects of clobetasol include hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, application site reactions (irritation, discomfort, burning), skin reactions, upper respiratory tract infection, inflammation of nose and throat (nasopharyngitis), Streptococcal pharyngitis, headache, and numbness of fingers.
coal tar topicalCoal tar topical is a medication applied on the skin and scalp for the relief of symptoms including itching, scaling, flaking, redness, and irritation caused by skin conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis. Common side effects of coal tar topical include dermatitis, skin irritation, stinging and burning, skin peeling (desquamation), inflammation of the hair follicles (folliculitis), acne-like eruptions, skin photosensitivity, staining, and discoloration.
CorticosteroidsOral and injectable systemic corticosteroids are steroid hormones prescribed to decrease inflammation in diseases and conditions such as arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, for example), ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, asthma, bronchitis, some skin rashes, and allergic or inflammatory conditions that involve the nose and eyes. Examples of systemic corticosteroids include hydrocortisone (Cortef), cortisone, prednisone (Prednisone Intensol), prednisolone (Orapred, Prelone), and methylprednisolone (Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol). Some of the side effects of systemic corticosteroids are swelling of the legs, hypertension, headache, easy bruising, facial hair growth, diabetes, cataracts, and puffiness of the face.
Does Psoriasis Cause Cardiovascular Disease?Long-lasting inflammation due to psoriasis can affect your heart and blood vessels, increasing your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, heart attack, or stroke.
How Do You Stop Psoriasis From Stress?Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease that can be passed down (hereditary) to you from your parents or grandparents. Stress is a common factor that can trigger your psoriasis. Psoriasis has a stronger association with psychiatric disorders than other skin diseases. Stress worsens psoriasis by triggering a complex network of signals between the endocrine (hormones), nervous and immune systems.
How to Get Rid of Psoriasis QuicklyAlthough psoriasis is incurable, it responds to topical and systemic treatments. Topical treatments that may be effective to treat mild psoriasis include creams, lotions, and sprays.
Is Psoriasis a COVID-19 Risk?Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune, inflammatory condition that primarily affects the skin. There is no definitive link between psoriasis and an increased risk of COVID-19.
Is Psoriasis Associated With HIV?Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects the skin. HIV is linked to a higher likelihood of developing psoriasis and more severe symptoms.
Prednisone is a drug that belongs to the corticosteroid drug class, and is an anti-inflammatory and immune system suppressant. It's used to treat a variety of diseases and conditions, for example: inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), lupus, asthma, cancers, and several types of arthritis.
Common side effects are weight gain, headache, fluid retention, and muscle weakness. Other effects and adverse events include glaucoma, cataracts, obesity, facial hair growth, moon face, and growth retardation in children. This medicine also causes psychiatric problems, for example: depression, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and psychotic behavior. Serious side effects include reactions to diabetes drugs, infections, and necrosis of the hips and joints.
PsoriasisPsoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales. There are several types of psoriasis, including psoriasis vulgaris, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and pustular psoriasis. Symptoms vary depending on the type of psoriasis the patient has. Treatment of psoriasis may include creams, lotions, oral medications, injections and infusions of biologics, and light therapy. There is no cure for psoriasis.
Psoriasis Picture 1A reddish, scaly rash often located over the surfaces of the elbows, knees, scalp, and around or in the ears, navel, genitals or buttocks. See a picture of Psoriasis and learn more about the health topic.
Severe Psoriasis PicturesExplore the different types of psoriasis such as plaque psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and scalp psoriasis. Discover what causes psoriasis and many psoriasis treatment options.
Psoriasis Home RemediesDiscover home remedies for psoriasis and help heal irritated skin.
Psoriasis QuizTake the mystery out of psoriasis. Take the Psoriasis Quiz and see what you know about the types, symptoms, treatments and more.
Psoriasis SlideshowWhat is psoriasis? See examples of psoriasis including the different types of nail, plaque, and scalp psoriasis. Learn about psoriasis symptoms, causes and treatment.
Plaque Psoriasis: Top 10 Causes, Triggers and TreatmentsPlaque psoriasis triggers a red, scaly rash of plaques on the skin typically affecting the elbows, knees, and scalp. Treatment involves managing triggers and controlling symptoms by addressing causes such as stress, allergies, infections, hormones, and more.
salicylic acid topicalSalicylic acid topical is a medication used to soften and remove warts, calluses, and corns in the foot and in the treatment of skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Avoid prolonged use or application on large areas of the skin. Common side effects of salicylic acid topical include irritation, burning, stinging, scaling, peeling and shedding, confusion, dizziness, headache, rapid and deep breathing (hyperventilation), and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Consult your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.
ZoryveZoryve is a topical prescription cream used to treat the symptoms of plaque psoriasis in adults and children over the age of 12. Zoryve is contraindicated in people with moderate to severe liver impairment (Child-Pugh B or C). Serious side effects of Zoryve that require immediate medication attention include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat; dizziness, mood or behavior changes, anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, impulsive thoughts, thoughts of self-harm, rapid and unintended weight loss, pain or burning when you urinate, and tremors. Consult your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding