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La transpiration : un facteur déclencheur du psoriasis ?

Is perspiration a triggering factor for psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a non-contagious skin disease that progresses in flare-ups. It is typically characterized by the appearance of well-defined red patches on certain parts of the body. External factors can trigger psoriasis outbreaks. It is important to identify these factors in order to alleviate the lesions. Is perspiration one of them? The answer is in this article.

Summary
Published February 20, 2024, by Manon, Scientific Editor — 3 min read

Sweating: A Trigger Factor for Psoriasis?

Perspiration (sweating) is a natural physiological phenomenon. It is characterized by the secretion of sweat by the sweat glands. Controlled by the hypothalamus, perspiration is activated in response to the body's need to lower its temperature in the face of intense heat, high physical activity, or a stressful situation. It also reflects our emotions.

Sweat can cause skin irritations, particularly on psoriasis lesions. It can lead to burning or tingling sensations due to its natural acidity, with a pH ranging between 4 and 6. Furthermore, sweat contains sodium chloride, otherwise known as salt, which has a drying effect on the skin. When salt comes into contact with the skin, it can absorb moisture from the skin's surface, leading to a faster evaporation of water from the upper layers of the skin. This can result in temporary skin dehydration, leaving a feeling of dryness. Skin dryness exacerbates psoriasis, as the hydrolipidic film is altered, and the skin is inherently less protected against external aggressions and allergens.

Currently, there are no scientific studies that assert that psoriasis could be triggered by perspiration. However, it could potentially be a factor that exacerbates the condition. Indeed, perspiration creates a moist environment conducive to the proliferation of bacteria such as staphylococci. These bacteria can infect existing psoriasis lesions. This can lead to secondary bacterial infections such as impetigo, folliculitis, or abscesses.

How to limit perspiration?

It is impossible to completely stop perspiration. However, it is possible to limit the effects of sweating.

  • Exercise with a degree of caution during physical activities: Physical activity is not discouraged for individuals with psoriasis. However, it is recommended to take a shower immediately after exercising to remove sweat.

  • Wearing loose and cotton clothing: Synthetic fibers and tight clothing are strongly discouraged as they promote sweating. Opt for natural fibers like cotton or linen. These fabrics allow better air circulation, thus helping to remove moisture and reduce perspiration.

  • Avoid stressful situations: stress tends to induce excessive sweating. When you are stressed, your body releases hormones such as adrenaline, which stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. The activation of the sympathetic nervous system then triggers several physiological reactions, including the stimulation of the sweat glands which are responsible for sweat production.

Sources

  • SAURAT J. & al. Dermatologie et infections sexuellement transmissibles (2016).

  • TENG Y. & al. Infection-provoked psoriasis: Induced or aggravated (Review). Experimental and Therapeutic (2021).

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