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Psoriasis started at 60 yrs old after quitting smoking

Hi, I'm 60 and I never had psoriasis until I quit smoking 6 months ago. That is very strange. My husband thinks my immune system over-reacted after not dealing with smoking anymore and it went crazy. Psoriasis is on my lower legs and my scalp. It first popped up on my arm but hasn't come back there. The lower legs isn't so bad since I don't wear shorts and there's no pain, but the scalp is difficult to deal with. I'm picking my head in the middle of the night without even realizing it. And I'm tired all the time for no good reason. My palms are peeling occasionally and also the bottom of my feet. I wonder if my husband was right and my immune system just freaked out.

  1. Hi , thanks so much for sharing with us all. I'm so sorry to read that your psoriasis appeared after you quit smoking. It's really upsetting to do something that's beneficial for our health, only to have other issues pop up. You're certainly not alone in this experience - I have seen a few people in the wider psoriasis community say that their psoriasis started or flared up after they quit smoking (I've also seen people say that quitting smoking seemed to help their psoriasis). I hope others will stop by to share their personal experiences with you.


    I was able to find the following case study, which I thought you may find interesting: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3325452/ The man in the study developed psoriasis after he quit smoking, and subsequently seemed to find relief with nicotine replacement therapy. There's also an interesting discussion on how nicotine can be immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory. I should mention that there's also a lot of research to suggest that smoking can aggravate/trigger psoriasis. I think another big issue to consider in this situation is stress. Both mental and physical stress can be huge triggers for psoriasis. I know a number of people who smoke use it as a stress management tool. Similarly, the process of quitting smoking can be quite a big, stressful event.


    Have you been able to get your doctor's thoughts on this? And have you been offered any treatment to help you manage your psoriasis? It sounds like you're dealing with a lot at the moment. Please know that this community is here anytime you need support. Best wishes to you and your husband! -Catherine, Community Moderator

    1. Thank you CathyD, I appreciate your response a lot : )

      1. You're more than welcome, . Hopefully this is an adjustment period and your psoriasis will calm down at some point. I really hope you can find some relief. Please keep us updated on how you are if you can. We'll be thinking of you! -Catherine, Community Moderator

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