Health-care professionals who treat patients with psoriasis should expand their knowledge of lifestyle behavior changes (LBC) and the positive benefits they can have on psoriasis symptoms, according to results of a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Previous studies have shown that excessive use of alcohol and cigarettes, along with having a body mass over the recommended index values, are associated with psoriasis and may contribute to psoriasis onset or worsening of symptoms. Changing these lifestyle behaviors can potentially prevent and/or reduce symptoms of psoriasis, according to the literature.

In the first in-depth investigation of psoriasis and the impact of certain lifestyle behaviors, Pauline A. Nelson, PhD, from the Manchester Centre for Dermatology Research at the Institute of Inflammation & Repair, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, and colleagues reported that important gaps in the knowledge and consultation skill sets exist among English clinicians who care for patients with psoriasis.

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The results of their study indicated that clinicians are currently not trained to properly support patients with psoriasis in effective LBC methods.

“Training in these methods is needed to enable health care professionals to assess and manage psoriasis better,” wrote the investigators.

Between October 2012 and June 2013, the researchers conducted interviews with 23 dermatology specialists and general practitioners in English primary- and secondary-care settings stratified by discipline.

Most clinicians interviewed recognized the importance of lifestyle behaviors and their link to psoriasis, and that they needed additional training on LBC to better manage their patients with psoriasis. In fact, few clinicians could name specific LBC techniques, according to the researchers. However, the clinicians also stated that it was not their role to facilitate LBC.

Additional research is needed to evaluate the process and outcomes of LBC training that would allow clinicians to incorporate this expanded knowledge into practice.

Nelson and colleagues noted that these findings may not be generalizable to health-care providers outside of the U.K.


  1. Nelson PA. Br J Dermatol. 2014;171:1116–1122.