Here’s the thing about psoriasis: The symptoms tend to come and go. You might find yourself enjoying days, weeks, or months of feeling well and then get sidelined by itching, flaking, sore joints and/or fatigue. Symptoms might seem to arise out of nowhere, when actually, they are flaring or worsening because of a trigger.

While triggers can vary from person to person, there are some common ones. Looking out for these could help you better understand your own triggers and, as a result, help you better manage your psoriasis symptoms. Here, we explain some of the most common triggers and how you can avoid them; and, if they’re simply unavoidable, how to manage them when you do flare up.

Stress: Identify and Fight It

“Stress is probably the most common trigger for psoriasis,” says Douglas J. Buethe, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Stress, however, is hard to define because it’s experienced differently in each person. For example, one person stuck in traffic when they’re late might feel mildly agitated and another might get extremely anxious and irritable.