A new study has found that people suffering from psoriasis have a more exaggerated physiological reaction to situations of stress, which can make the condition even worse.

The study, published in the April edition of the British Journal of Dermatology, found that people with psoriasis had heightened autonomic and neuroendocrine responses to stress than those without the skin condition or those with rheumatoid arthritis, another chronic inflammatory condition. The study involved 90 patients in total, 30 of whom had psoriasis. All the patients were subjected to a standard psychological test to determine stress levels and their reaction to stress. The saliva of each of the patients was tested for levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, before and after the stress test. After exposure to a stressful situation, the cortisol levels were higher in patients with psoriasis compared with other patients. The study found that after exposure to stress, people with psoriasis had higher levels of the stress hormone than other patients. The researchers concluded that people with psoriasis might have a different physiological reaction to stress than other people. The study results suggest that stress plays a far more significant role in triggering or worsening psoriasis than was previously thought. The message that this new study sends to people with psoriasis is too look carefully at their lifestyle and their stress triggers to see if there is anything that they can do reduce their exposure to stress. The good news is that if people with psoriasis can manage to avoid typical stress triggers and learn to deal with stress better, then this could help improve their psoriasis. De-stressing lifestyle techniques such as meditation, yoga and reflexology can all help to reduce stress levels and also help people to find methods to lower stress levels.