Dietary modifications may help manage symptoms of psoriasis, according to results of a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

In a follow-up to part one of the paper titled Diet in Dermatology, part two focuses on dietary modifications that can potentially aid in the management of psoriasis melanoma. Era Caterina Murzaku, BS, and colleagues from the Department of Dermatology, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, examined the effect of weight loss, reduced alcohol consumption, and gluten avoidance on reducing psoriasis-associated morbidity, in addition to the use of supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids, folic acid, vitamin D, and antioxidants.

The researchers found that weight loss and decreased alcohol consumption improved symptoms of psoriasis and may increase the efficacy of some psoriasis medications. Studies have indicated that weight loss significantly improves psoriasis symptoms.

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Diet and exercise reduce the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI) score in intervention patients compared with controls. Also, a low-calorie diet and weight loss also resulted in improved PASI, Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), and serum lipid levels.

Dietary supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids, folic acid, vitamin D, and antioxidants can be considered as add-on therapy for some psoriasis patients, but results of randomized, controlled trials have been mixed and further study is needed, reported the researchers.

Additional studies are also needed to determine the impact of a gluten-free diet on improving cutaneous symptoms in patients with psoriasis with celiac disease-related antibodies.

Based on this evidence, the investigators recommended that dermatologists encourage overweight and obese psoriasis patients to attempt weight loss and increase physical activity as a way to improve psoriasis symptoms, comorbid metabolic syndrome, and medication efficacy.

Evidence has suggested a fairly high prevalence of alcohol abuse among patients with psoriasis. Therefore, patients with psoriasis should be screened, according to the study authors.


  1. Murzaku EC. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014;71:1053.e1-16.