My psoriasis vanished when my extra weight did

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease caused by an autoimmune dysfunction in your body.

Basically, like with all autoimmune diseases, your body turns on itself attacking your own tissues — in the case of psoriasis, your skin.

You can end up with silver or red scaly patches that are itchy, inflamed and yes… painful.

It’s a condition that I know all too well since my first flare-up of the disease began during college. My elbows and scalp were coated in the plaques and they would itch, burn and sometimes even bleed. It was awful and no matter what medications, creams, or shampoos the doctor prescribed, nothing helped.

It’s a story all too common to psoriasis sufferers.

Now, though, thanks to a new study out of Norway, there might be an effective way for at least some people living with psoriasis to find relief. In fact, it worked for me years before this research made the connection…

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The chicken or the egg?

Studies have linked psoriasis and higher weight, but the reason behind the relationship has been unclear. It’s like the old chicken or the egg question — which came first?

“Higher BMI may contribute to increased inflammation of the skin, which can exacerbate psoriasis, but it could also be that psoriasis leads to a person being less physically active and thus gaining weight,” says Mari Løset, a medical doctor at the Department of Dermatology at St. Olavs Hospital and a postdoctoral fellow at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) K.G. Jebsen Center for Genetic Epidemiology.

So, her team set out to discover the answer and find out if having a higher body mass index, or BMI, increased the risk for psoriasis…

They analyzed data from 750,000 people and they found that in Norway alone, incidences of psoriasis more than doubled in just over 25 years. According to the researchers, similar studies from other parts of the world show the same type of increases.

To see if there was any causal relationship between BMI and psoriasis, the team used a method called Mendelian randomization. All external factors that could influence the results were eliminated.

In the end, they were able to prove conclusively that having a higher body weight contributes to problems with psoriasis. In fact, the greater the BMI, the greater the chances of getting the disease.

“We calculated that the risk increased by nine percent for each higher whole number on the BMI scale,” Løset says.

It looks like the chicken or the egg question has been settled at least in the case and body weight is the answer to which came first.

What’s weight got to do with psoriasis?

Unfortunately, the researchers are still not sure just how being overweight can lead to psoriasis although they do say that the fact that fatty tissue produces hormones and inflammatory molecules could be behind the connection.

There also hasn’t been a lot of research on losing weight can help you rid yourself of this skin condition once it starts but a few clinical studies show that it’s certainly a possibility.

And, you know how I said that I suffered from psoriasis during college?

Well, at that time, I had not only put on the classic “Freshman 15,” I had packed on an additional “sophomore 12” putting me at a whopping 27 pounds over my ideal weight.

But, at 23, I lost it all. And when I did, my psoriasis symptoms disappeared… never to return.

So, while it might not be a certainty that by losing weight you can also lose your problems with psoriasis, it’s definitely a good place to start. It could help you lose what Dr. Mark Wiley calls the inflammation abomination.

To start your weight loss journey, stand on the scale each morning.  It’s been proven to help drop the pounds and keep them off. Of course, there are other tips to help you amplify your weight loss that have been shown to work in scientific studies as well.


  1. Higher weight increases risk of psoriasis — EurekAlert!
Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.