Smokers have a higher risk of developing psoriasis, a study suggests.
US researchers found that heavier smokers have a greater risk of the skin condition and this only falls back to normal 20 years after quitting.
The study of 79,000 nurses published in the American Journal of Medicine also found that people with psoriasis who smoke had more severe disease.
It is thought that toxins in cigarette smoke may affect parts of the immune system associated with psoriasis.
Psoriasis, which occurs when the skin replaces itself too quickly, affects more than one million people in the UK. There are many different forms. It usually appears as red, scaly patches that when scraped or scratched reveal fine silvery scales.
Previous research has reported links between smoking and psoriasis but was unable to look at whether smoking occurred before the onset of the condition.
Source - BBC