Psoriasis and smoking. Smokers should be warned about the risk of developing psoriasis if they have a family history of psoriasis and those who suffer from psoriasis should quit smoking to prevent worsening of the disease. Smoking is not only responsible for the onset and exacerbation of psoriasis, but also the cause of cancer.
Several epidemiological studies have demonstrated a clear relation between psoriasis and smoking. In the development of this chronic inflammatory skin disease, both genetic and environmental factors play their role. Among the latter, alcohol and tobacco consumption, obesity, infections and stressful events have a considerable influence.
This relation has been corroborated by a recent study published in the pages of the American Journal of Epidemiology.
The research, which involved a large population, men and women, analyzed the relationship between smoking and psoriasis and once again showed that smoking greatly increases the risk of developing psoriasis taking also into account that the amount of smoked cigarettes is directly proportional to the increase in risk.
It also pointed out that once you quit smoking, you need to wait 20 years for comparing the risk of developing psoriasis between an ex-smoker and any other person
This is not only thing to be considered, even those who already suffer from psoriasis can see their condition worsening when smoking by experiencing more disabling symptoms, poor response to treatments, more frequent relapses and joints may be compromised. The cigarette seems to be able to trigger a "cascade" of cytokines and chemokines, proteins that are essential in the regulation of the immune system and in the activation of inflammatory processes.
Tobacco smoke (cigarette, cigar and the like) is, in fact, an aerosol and the water in it contains numerous substances, many of which are toxic to humans. Harmful substances include nicotine, benzopyrene and other polycyclic hydrocarbons like polonium-210, nickel, cadmium, arsenic and lead.
The "gaseous part" also contains carbon monoxide, acetaldehyde, acetone, methanol, nitrogen oxides, nitrosamines, vinyl chloride, ammonia, acrolein, benzene, formaldehyde among others.
Smoking, as we all know, is not only responsible for the onset and exacerbation of psoriasis, but also the cause of other very serious diseases, especially cancer. It is estimated that 91% of lung cancer deaths are attributable to cigarettes smoke, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons found in "the tar" and polonium 210 which seem to be primarily responsible for the development of lung tumors.
But, why is it so hard to quit smoking?
The use of tobacco is mainly motivated by the compulsive need for nicotine that makes the person to be dependent on this substance; therefore, cigar can be considered a drug. In fact, 70% of smokers would like to quit smoking and 46% try to quit smoking at least once a year. The percentage of those who stop smoking "voluntarily" is one percent; a percentage that can increase to 3% thanks the doctor's recommendation.
Smokers should be warned about the risk of developing psoriasis if they have a family history of psoriasis and those who suffer from psoriasis should quit smoking to prevent worsening of onsets and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disorders.
Source: Li W, Han J, Choi HK, Qureshi AA. Smoking and Risk of Incident Psoriasis Among Women and Men in the United States: A Combined Analysis. Am. J. Epidemiol.(2012) 175 (5): 402-413.
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