Psoriasis is a chronic condition caused by inflammation. When this happens, the inflammation doesn’t distinguish which areas it affects, and you could have problems in multiple areas of the body, including your organs.

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Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition that can affect more areas of your body than just your skin.

In this article, you’ll learn how psoriasis can affect different organs and areas of your body, as well as which forms of psoriasis put you most at risk of these effects.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that can cause inflammation throughout your body. When you have psoriasis, your immune system is in overdrive. Inflammatory immune cells that usually protect you from injury and infection become triggered and can damage your tissues or organs.

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that most noticeably causes raised, red, purple, gray, or scaly patches on your skin. There’s no cure for psoriasis, and different types of psoriasis can produce other symptoms or complications. You can read more about psoriasis in general at Healthline.

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Although your skin is the main organ affected by psoriasis, increased inflammation in your body can produce effects in other areas, too.


Your brain can be affected by the inflammation that comes with psoriasis in several ways.

People with psoriasis report higher levels of anxiety and depression than their peers due to the challenges of living with the disease. In fact, about 62% of people with psoriasis link some level of depression to their psoriasis.

Outside of moods and emotional effects, psoriasis can also affect the health of your brain.

Like psoriasis, many inflammatory conditions can affect your brain, including dementia.

Although the inflammatory effects of either disease may link these two conditions, researchers are at odds as to whether psoriasis increases your risk of developing cognitive issues such as dementia and vice versa.

Some studies have shown an increased risk of dementia and other cognitive issues in people with psoriasis. Other research denies any link between psoriasis and an increased risk of dementia or other conditions.


The link between psoriasis and heart health is more clear. Numerous studies show how the increased body-wide inflammation in psoriasis puts those with the disease at an increased cardiovascular risk.

Inflammation increases your chance of both heart attack and stroke. Medical professionals found that people with psoriasis have increased resistance in their veins, which can reduce blood flow. This can lead to additional problems, such as coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. One report alone estimates that high blood pressure affects about a third of all people with psoriasis.


Like your heart, your lungs are also susceptible to increased inflammation in your body. When you have an inflammatory condition, others may also follow. Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and even pulmonary hypertension have links to psoriasis.

There’s also a link between the development of lung cancer after the use of certain medications to treat psoriasis, such as methotrexate.


There have been some studies that have suggested a connection between psoriasis and nonalcoholic liver disease.

Medical professionals may use some topical treatments to treat psoriasis. However, people with severe cases often turn to systemic medications, which treat the inflammation that develops with psoriasis on a larger scale.

Treating inflammation with medications that affect your entire body might help manage your psoriasis and prevent certain complications. However, it can also strain the health of your liver. Some medications used to treat psoriasis systemically are filtered through your liver. Over time, they may cause damage.

Metabolism and digestion

There are a lot of metabolic changes that can develop in people with psoriasis. However, these are more likely the result of comorbidities and general inflammation than direct organ damage.

Obesity is a comorbidity that’s common in people with psoriasis. It can lead to a variety of concurring diseases and conditions, such as metabolic syndrome or even diabetes. According to one 2021 study, between 27% and 50% of all people with psoriasis end up developing metabolic syndrome.

Psoriasis and gut health

Psoriasis and other inflammatory diseases can affect your gut health and digestion, but there’s also a link to obesity. Find out why.

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It’s unclear yet why, but research shows an association between psoriasis and poor bone health. People with psoriasis are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, bone fractures, or generally losing bone density.

It’s not clear whether bone problems exist alongside psoriasis or because of it. Still, other research has hinted that decreased vitamin D levels in people with psoriasis may play a role.

Bone pain or joint pain?

When you feel aches and pains, it can be difficult to tell if the source is bone or joint pain. Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that can develop in people with psoriasis. When this condition appears, the inflammation related to psoriasis causes swelling and pain in your joints.

Managing psoriatic arthritis may require therapies and medications different from those for your primary psoriasis.

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Several conditions are linked to psoriasis, developing as another condition alongside psoriasis or a complication caused by the disease. It’s not always clear which is the cause, but in either case, autoimmune conditions such as psoriasis are notorious for spurring other health complications.

Additionally, most autoimmune diseases have effects felt throughout your entire body.

The key to managing your psoriasis and preventing problems beyond your skin is to get prompt and effective treatment for your psoriasis. Managing the strength of your body’s autoimmune response with systemic medication may clear your skin of psoriasis plaques. However, it may also reduce systemic inflammation and the problems that can come with it.

When to get medical care

If your psoriasis affects your daily life, causes pain, or limits your activity, you can discuss your treatment options with a doctor or healthcare professional. Getting your psoriasis under control early can help you avoid other inflammation-related problems.

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Here are some frequently asked questions about psoriasis and whether it affects other organs.

What can untreated psoriasis lead to?

Untreated psoriasis can lead to a variety of conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, mental health issues, and diabetes.

What parts of the body are most affected by psoriasis?

The skin is the most affected body part when it comes to psoriasis.

Does psoriasis get progressively worse?

Triggers can often cause psoriasis to worsen or “flare” up. Some people may have cycles where symptoms appear, but then they go away for a period of time. Understanding your triggers can help you avoid flare-ups.

Do people with psoriasis get sick more often?

The immune system of a person with psoriasis is constantly in overdrive, attacking the healthy cells. This overdrive of the immune system can mean that people with psoriasis are more susceptible to other illnesses, such as cold and flu.

Psoriasis is a chronic condition caused by inflammation. When this happens, the inflammation doesn’t distinguish which areas it affects, and you could have problems in multiple areas of your body, including your organs.

If your psoriasis causes pain or affects your daily life, you can discuss your treatment options with a doctor or healthcare professional.