Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune skin disorder characterized by the rapid buildup of skin cells, leading to scaling on the skin’s surface. These scales are typically thick, white-silvery, and red patches that can be itchy and sometimes painful. Psoriasis is often a lifelong condition, varying in severity from small, localized patches to complete body coverage. The most commonly affected areas include the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back, though it can appear anywhere on the body. Environmental factors, including certain types of soaps, can trigger or exacerbate the symptoms of psoriasis. Therefore, it is essential for individuals with psoriasis to be cautious about their choice of soaps. Here’s an overview of five types of soaps that are commonly known to potentially worsen psoriasis symptoms: 

1. Fragranced soaps

Soaps containing fragrances or perfumes are among the top irritants for psoriasis sufferers. The chemicals used to create these scents can be harsh on sensitive skin and can trigger inflammation and flare-ups. Opt for fragrance-free or hypoallergenic soaps. Natural, unscented soaps are also a good choice. 

2. Alcohol-based soaps

Soaps that contain alcohol can be very drying to the skin. Dry skin is prone to cracking and can lead to psoriasis flare-ups. Look for soaps with hydrating ingredients like glycerin or aloe vera, which are gentler on the skin. 

3. Antibacterial and antiseptic soaps

These soaps often contain ingredients like triclosan or chlorhexidine, which can be too harsh for skin with psoriasis. They can strip away natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Mild, non-antibacterial soaps are less likely to irritate. It’s important to keep the skin clean, but gentleness is key. 

4. Soaps with exfoliating beads

Exfoliating soaps may contain small beads or other abrasive materials. While exfoliation can be beneficial for some skin types, it can be too harsh for psoriatic skin, leading to irritation and worsening of symptoms. Choose soaps without physical exfoliants. Chemical exfoliants like lactic acid in low concentrations might be a safer option but should be used cautiously.

5. High pH soaps

The skin’s natural pH is slightly acidic, around 4-5.5. Soaps with a high pH level can disrupt the skin’s natural barrier, making it more susceptible to psoriasis flare-ups. Opt for soaps that are labeled as “pH-balanced” or have a pH level close to that of the skin. These soaps are less likely to disturb the skin’s natural pH balance and are generally more gentle and soothing. 

In conclusion, individuals with psoriasis should be cautious about the types of soaps they use. Avoiding soaps with harsh chemicals, fragrances, high pH levels, and exfoliants can help manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups. It’s always advisable to consult with a dermatologist to find the most suitable skincare products, including soaps, that align with your specific skin needs. Remember, what works for one person might not work for another, so it’s important to pay attention to how your skin reacts to different products and ingredients.