Psoriasis develops when the immune system mistakenly attacks the skin cells, causing red, scaly, or painful patches to appear. During remission, the immune system stops these attacks, and the skin has time to heal.
Psoriasis treatments and lifestyle changes can bring about remission, but when and how it occurs is different for everyone. Read on to learn more about achieving and maintaining psoriasis remission.
What to expect with psoriasis remission
Psoriasis remission may occur after treatment.
Cycles of remission and symptom flare-ups are common with psoriasis.
Psoriasis remission may occur as a result of treatment. However, it is difficult to predict how a person’s psoriasis will behave over time and how it will respond to treatment.
Some people may experience spontaneous remission, which happens for no apparent reason.
During remission, some people will notice a marked reduction in symptoms, while others may find that their skin becomes completely clear. However, symptoms usually come back at some point, even for those who continue their treatment program.
How long does remission last?
Psoriasis is an unpredictable condition. The duration of remission can vary from a few weeks to a few months or, in some cases, years.
However, most remission periods last for between 1 month and 1 year.
Several factors can affect the onset and length of a psoriasis remission. For example, some people may have a remission during summer and experience a flare-up during the colder months.
How to prevent psoriasis from returning
Psoriasis is a chronic, long-term condition, so flares will usually return even after remission. However, certain treatments and lifestyle changes may help people prolong their remission periods.
Experts believe that psoriasis occurs due to a combination of genetic factors and external triggers, but not everyone who inherits one or more of the specific psoriasis-causing genes goes on to develop the skin condition.
Therefore, avoiding triggers may be key to reducing the risk of psoriasis development and the return of symptoms following remission. Triggers vary from person to person, but some of the most common are:
The following medicines may trigger psoriasis flares:
- antimalarial drugs
- propranolol (Inderal), for high blood pressure
- indomethacin (Indocin), a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug
- lithium, for certain psychiatric disorders
- quinidine, a heart medication