Does weight gain lead to psoriasis, or is it the other way around? This question has been puzzling scientists for ages, but two things remain clear. Weight and psoriasis are indeed linked, and less of both is most certainly a good thing.

Indeed, there is growing evidence that both psoriasis and weight gain may be two parts of a larger theme—inflammation. Earlier this year the National Psoriasis Foundation discussed comorbidities (the occurrence of multiple medical conditions within the same person) as they relate to psoriasis-sufferers. The article, Why Does Psoriasis Increase Risk for Obesity, Heart Disease?, goes into some detail linking inflammation to psoriasis and weight-gain, as well as other related conditions such as heart disease. While the exact nature of the link remains unknown, it is clear that the varying types of inflammation can indeed build on each other, and the more you can do to keep your weight and psoriasis under control, the healthier you’ll be in the long run.

The importance of weight loss is further reinforced in the WebMD article Weight Loss Might Ease Psoriasis, Study Hints, which details a clinical trial in which 27 patients followed a low-calorie diet. This resulted not only in dramatic weight loss, but also improvements in psoriasis symptoms as well as general quality of life.

While the importance of eating a healthy diet and maintaining an active lifestyle can’t be overstated, it’s interesting to note that even more dramatic methods of weight loss have also been met with notable reductions in psoriasis symptoms. In 2015, Dr Soumya Reddy shared the results of an 11-year study that traced the links between psoriasis reduction and bariatric surgery. In studying more than 9,000 patients following their weight loss surgery, Dr. Reddy and her colleagues noted an improvement in 55% of patients with psoriasis, and in 62% of patients with psoriatic arthritis.

To learn more about Dr. Reddy’s discoveries, read Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis symptoms curbed by bariatric surgery at EurekAlert!, and Weight Loss Surgery Relieves Psoriasis Symptoms at MedPageToday.

Psoriasis and obesity are both challenging enough on their own—and all the more so for patients battling both. That the two are linked, and that effectively reducing one may lead to improvement in the other, might provide a little extra hope to anyone struggling with weight gain and psoriasis all at once.