Mayo Clinic Health Library

Question

Psoriasis diet: Can changing your diet treat psoriasis?

Can changing my diet treat psoriasis?

Updated: 02-10-2011

Answer

Although there’s no special psoriasis diet, some people find that certain foods worsen their symptoms, or that others improve skin inflammation. However, any link between nutrition and psoriasis is still unclear.

Psoriasis is cyclic, meaning that you experience periods when your psoriasis symptoms improve or go into remission alternating with times when your psoriasis becomes worse. Besides the food you eat, many factors might trigger a flare-up, including stress, an infection, climate changes or medications you're taking.

Though certain foods may neither improve nor aggravate your symptoms, eating a healthy diet overall is still beneficial. If you have psoriasis, you're encouraged to eat a diet that focuses on:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Lean meats and fish

A number of studies also have shown that supplementing your diet with fish oil — which provides polyunsaturated fatty acids needed to maintain healthy skin — may improve symptoms.

A healthy diet, especially when combined with exercise, can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight — factors that may improve psoriasis symptoms. If you're overweight, losing weight may also improve the effectiveness of your psoriasis medication.

As long as you meet your daily nutritional requirements, there's no harm in exploring which foods might improve your symptoms. Start a food diary and record what you eat along with the symptoms you experience. Over time, you may see patterns that are helpful in controlling your psoriasis symptoms.