Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About MyPsoriasisTeam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About MyPsoriasisTeam

Can Psoriasis Go Away on Its Own?

Posted on April 14, 2021
Medically reviewed by
Ariel D. Teitel, M.D., M.B.A.
Article written by
Paz Etcheverry, Ph.D.

Psoriasis is a chronic, lifelong inflammatory skin disease. That means it can’t go away on its own. However, psoriasis can go into periods of remission in which the symptoms disappear. Remission is followed by periods known as a relapse, rebound, or flare-up in which the symptoms of psoriasis get worse again.

“I had a few good days and I allowed myself to be optimistic that remission might be occurring. Then I woke up this morning and BAM! Flare city,” stated one MyPsoriasisTeam member.

In the treatment of psoriasis, the main goals are to clear the skin from the characteristic itchy, scaly lesions and to increase the length of remission periods. Besides treatment, other factors may also influence your likelihood of remission.

What Affects Remission?

Some factors are associated with longer or shorter remission periods.

Read: How biologics can help achieve skin clearance in psoriasis

Treatment Type

There are several treatment options for psoriasis, and remission length may vary based on your type of treatment. Changes in treatment types may also contribute to ongoing cycles of remission and relapse.

Psoralen Coupled With Ultraviolet A Rays

According to a report published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, taking oral psoralen coupled with ultraviolet A rays (a therapy known as PUVA) prolongs the remission period in plaque psoriasis compared with narrow-band UVB rays and topical treatments like gels, moisturizers, and ointments. PUVA may have a long-lasting effect even after discontinuation. However, PUVA has an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma and possibly melanoma.

Biologics

Biologic agents target specific areas of the immune system (as opposed to systemic drugs, which affect the entire immune system and response). Biologics are usually recommended for moderate to severe psoriasis that does not respond to other treatments such as light therapy (phototherapy) and systemic therapy.

When it comes to biologics, psoriasis relapse occurs mainly within the first six months after a person stops taking the medication. According to one study of 184 people with psoriasis, the time to relapse was the longest in people who stopped taking a drug called alefacept, in which the average time to relapse was nearly 30 weeks. The average time to relapse was 22 weeks for ustekinumab, 19.5 weeks for infliximab, 18 weeks for adalimumab, 12 weeks for etanercept, and approximately 10 weeks for efalizumab.

Type of Psoriasis

The types of psoriasis include plaque psoriasis (also known as psoriasis vulgaris), guttate psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, inverse psoriasis, nail psoriasis, and pustular psoriasis. Among all these types, guttate psoriasis typically has a longer remission period, researchers have found. However, if poorly treated, guttate psoriasis may progress into plaque psoriasis.

Level of Inflammation

Inflammation in the body, also known as systemic inflammation, is believed to promote the development of new skin lesions in psoriasis. Levels of inflammation can be determined by measuring a protein in the blood called C-reactive protein (CRP). High levels of CRP in the blood indicate higher levels of inflammation.

People who have more inflammation tend to have shorter periods of remission. For example, some research has found that people with lower CRP levels had average remission periods of 8.5 months. People with higher residual inflammation tended to have remission periods of just three months.

An anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds and nuts, and omega-3 fatty acids may help keep your inflammation in check.

Body Weight

Overweight (defined as a body mass index of 25 to 29.9) and obesity (a body mass index of 30 or greater) are associated with psoriasis and inflammation in the body. Heavier people also tend to have a poorer response to psoriasis therapy than those with a lower body mass index. Researchers have found that a low-calorie diet leading to weight loss increases the response to systemic treatments in obese people with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis, which may ultimately lead to remission and a decreased need for medication.

Physical and Mental Stress

Daily stress, worrying, and scratching are related to an increase in disease severity and itch. Scratching in response to itch leads to an itch-scratch-itch cycle that worsens the skin condition.

Maintenance of Regular Follow-Up Visits

According to the Arthritis Foundation, close collaboration with your dermatologist, rheumatologist, or other health care provider is one of the best ways to help achieve low disease activity. These professionals can evaluate your symptoms, examine your laboratory results, and adjust your medication if needed.

Can You Experience Remission Without Treatment?

It’s generally recommended to treat your psoriasis. Psoriasis has a chronic relapsing nature, and poorly controlled psoriasis may increase the risk of having other types of psoriasis.

However, if someone has achieved complete remission for at least one year, their doctor may recommend stopping therapy with careful follow-up. You should always talk to your health care provider for medical advice if you’re interested in discontinuing your medications.

Talk With Others Who Understand

MyPsoriasisTeam is the social network for people with psoriasis and their loved ones. On MyPsoriasisTeam, more than 108,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with psoriasis.

Is your psoriasis currently in remission? Share your experience in the comments below or start a conversation by posting on MyPsoriasisTeam.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.
Ariel D. Teitel, M.D., M.B.A. is the clinical associate professor of medicine at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Learn more about him here.
Paz Etcheverry, Ph.D. has an M.S. in food science and nutrition from North Carolina State University and a Ph.D. in food science and technology from Cornell University. Learn more about her here.

Related articles

Arthritis mutilans is the most severe form of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). About 5 percent of...

Psoriatic Arthritis Mutilans: The Most Severe Form of PsA

Arthritis mutilans is the most severe form of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). About 5 percent of...
About one-third of the 7.5 million people in America living with psoriasis also have the...

Back Pain? How Psoriatic Arthritis Can Affect the Spine

About one-third of the 7.5 million people in America living with psoriasis also have the...
Scientists have found environmental factors and triggers — such as smoking, specific infections,...

Is Psoriasis Genetic? A Deeper Look at Genes and Passing It On

Scientists have found environmental factors and triggers — such as smoking, specific infections,...
For some, alcohol may be an enjoyable aspect of life and a key part of celebrating special...

5 Things To Know About Alcohol and Psoriasis

For some, alcohol may be an enjoyable aspect of life and a key part of celebrating special...
If you have psoriasis, you may experience related conditions that also affect the skin — like...

Candida and Psoriasis: The Connection With Yeast Infections

If you have psoriasis, you may experience related conditions that also affect the skin — like...
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved a second COVID-19 booster shot...

What People With Psoriasis Should Know About Getting a Second COVID-19 Booster Shot

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved a second COVID-19 booster shot...

Recent articles

Feeling tired after physical exertion, a busy day, or a night of insufficient sleep is normal....

Psoriasis and Fatigue: 6 Strategies To Help

Feeling tired after physical exertion, a busy day, or a night of insufficient sleep is normal....
Psoriasis scales on the scalp can often be safely removed at home.Products that contain...

How To Safely Remove Psoriasis Scales From the Scalp

Psoriasis scales on the scalp can often be safely removed at home.Products that contain...
Scalp psoriasis is a common but serious health challenge for many people with psoriatic disease.

Scalp Psoriasis: Symptoms and Treatment

Scalp psoriasis is a common but serious health challenge for many people with psoriatic disease.
Explore the symptoms of psoriasis on the eyelid and how to treat them.

Psoriasis on the Eyelid: Symptoms and 5 Treatment Tips

Explore the symptoms of psoriasis on the eyelid and how to treat them.
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a type of inflammatory arthritis. If you’re among the 30 percent of...

6 Diets for Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a type of inflammatory arthritis. If you’re among the 30 percent of...
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved updated boosters for messenger RNA...

New COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters for Omicron: What To Know if You Have Psoriasis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved updated boosters for messenger RNA...
MyPsoriasisTeam My psoriasis Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close