menstrual periods cause psoriasis flare-ups

Can menstrual periods cause psoriasis flare-ups?

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Psoriasis is a chronic condition characterized by areas of dry skin and other skin changes. Certain health conditions or factors such as a menstrual period can trigger it.

menstrual periods cause psoriasis flare-ups

Psoriasis affects around 8 million people in the United States, all of whom experience hormonal changes throughout life.

Read on to learn how the menstrual cycle and hormonal fluctuations can affect psoriasis flare-ups.

Psoriasis flare-ups during periods 

Hormone levels change greatly throughout the menstrual cycle. During menstruation and right before it, estrogen levels drop significantly. Hormone levels generally increase later in the cycle.

According to available evidence, it is possible that the fluctuation in hormones, and the drop in estrogen in particular, around a period may cause psoriasis symptoms to worsen.

If a person experiences worsening symptoms at any point in their cycle, they should talk with a doctor about ways to manage them.


If psoriasis symptoms flare during or before a period, speak with a doctor. They may recommend additional therapies or medications at these times to help prevent flare-ups.

A person might also consider taking extra steps to avoid psoriasis triggers during or before a period. The American Academy of Dermatology report that some common triggers include:

  • cold, dry weather
  • hot conditions and sunburn
  • alcohol
  • tobacco smoke
  • certain medications, including some for heart disease and arthritis
  • shaving
  • injury to the skin
  • infections

In addition to taking extra precautions and possibly having additional treatment, a person might consider using hormonal birth control, if a doctor recommends it.

Some hormonal birth control increases the amount of estrogen and progesterone in the body, which may help improve psoriasis symptoms by limiting hormonal fluctuations.

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