The Connection Between Stress, Psoriasis, And Anxiety: What You Need To Know

Medically reviewed by April Justice, LICSW
Updated November 24, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Stress, psoriasis, and anxiety are common conditions that can significantly impact a person's physical and emotional well-being. Although each of these conditions may arise independently, they are also known to be interconnected. Understanding the connection between stress, psoriasis, and anxiety might be essential for effectively managing and treating these conditions. By taking a comprehensive approach to treatment and support, people with stress, psoriasis, and anxiety could find relief and improve their overall quality of life.

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What Is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by red, scaly skin patches. It results from an overactive immune system that causes skin cells to grow too quickly. There is currently no known cure for psoriasis, but its symptoms can often be managed through treatments, including topical ointments, phototherapy, and oral medications. 

Psoriasis can sometimes be more than just a skin condition; it might also have profound emotional and psychological effects. People living with psoriasis often face feelings of shame, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression due to the visible symptoms. The physical symptoms of psoriasis could also be painful and uncomfortable. Those with the condition may feel isolated, leading to further distress.

How Does Stress Impact Psoriasis?


Stress can profoundly impact the body, especially for people with psoriasis. The relationship between stress and psoriasis is complex, but it is generally accepted that stress can trigger or worsen symptoms of psoriasis. This could be because stress disrupts the delicate balance of hormones and immune responses in the body, which may lead to an overproduction of skin cells and triggering inflammation.

Remember that stress can affect people in different ways, and what might trigger a flare-up for one person might not have the same effect for another. This is why it is crucial for people with psoriasis to identify their unique triggers and find ways to manage stress effectively with the help of physical and mental health professionals.

The Association Between Psoriasis And Anxiety

People with psoriasis often experience anxiety and depression due to the physical and emotional toll the condition can take on their lives. Because of this, outside of the physical discomfort and appearance-related concerns, psoriasis can also result in a loss of self-esteem and social isolation.

Anxiety might also worsen symptoms of psoriasis by increasing stress levels and leading to physical symptoms such as muscle tension and headaches. This creates a vicious cycle where psoriasis triggers anxiety, and anxiety triggers psoriasis.

In cases like this, it's essential to recognize the connection between psoriasis and anxiety and seek professional help.

Getty/Vadym Pastukh
A Customized Approach To Address All Aspects Of Your Well-Being

Managing Stress And Psoriasis

Various strategies can help you to manage the relationship between your stress, psoriasis, and anxiety. Here are some of the ways you can do this in your life.

  • Practicing stress-reducing activities: Exercise, yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can help manage stress and reduce anxiety.
  • Managing triggers: Identifying and avoiding triggers that might cause psoriasis flare-ups is essential in managing the condition.
  • Getting enough sleep: Adequate sleep is crucial for physical and mental health and might help reduce stress and anxiety levels.
  • Eating a healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains could help boost the immune system and reduce inflammation, which could trigger psoriasis flare-ups.
  • Seeking support: Talking to a therapist or joining a support group could provide an outlet for emotions and help reduce anxiety and depression related to psoriasis.
  • Medications: In some cases, prescription medications might be necessary to manage symptoms of psoriasis, anxiety, and depression.

Benefits Of Online Therapy

Online therapy can be a valuable component of a holistic approach to dealing with stress, psoriasis, and anxiety. By working with a trained mental health professional, people with psoriasis, stress, and anxiety can better understand their emotions and find effective ways to manage their symptoms. Through therapy, people can learn healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with stress and anxiety and work on building self-esteem and resilience. Additionally, therapy can provide a safe and supportive environment for people to process their feelings and experiences related to psoriasis and work towards reducing the emotional impact of this condition. By incorporating therapy into their holistic approach to stress, psoriasis, and anxiety management, people can take an important step toward improving their mental and emotional well-being.

Effectiveness Of Online Therapy

By providing a safe and supportive environment for people to process their emotions and experiences related to psoriasis, therapy can help reduce the emotional impact of this condition and improve the overall quality of life. One study found that people with psoriasis who received psychotherapy experienced a significant reduction in symptoms of anxiety and depression compared to those who did not receive therapy. This suggests that therapy could improve the emotional well-being of people with psoriasis.

By understanding the interplay between stress, psoriasis, and anxiety and adopting a holistic approach to their management, we might find the relief we need and improve our overall quality of life.


Psoriasis is a physical disorder, but can also be influenced by factors of our mental and emotional health, such as our stress levels and the presence of anxiety in our lives. If you experience high levels of stress or anxiety and find that your psoriasis symptoms seem to react to this, you’re not alone. There are things you can do to manage these three factors together in a way that improves the symptoms of all three. Should you desire help in managing your symptoms, consider reaching out to an online therapist at BetterHelp.

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