Psoriasis Center

Psoriasis Causes and Risk Factors

What causes psoriasis?
Psoriasis begins in the immune system, mainly with a type of white blood cell called a T cell, which help protect the body against infection and disease. During psoriasis, T cells become so active that they set off other immune responses which to swelling and fast turnover of skin cells. People diagnosed with psoriasis report that sometimes the skin gets better and sometimes it gets worse. Things that can trigger psoriasis include:

Climate - Climate changes can alter the manner in which psoriasis behaves. Cold and dry climates generally cause flare up episodes of the disease. Warm and damp weather tends to make the condition better.

Infection - Viruses and bacteria can cause psoriasis. Throat infections and upper respiratory conditions (usually caused by strep pneumo) are culprits behind the disease. HIV is also able to initiate the autoimmune response that can lead to psoriasis.

Medications - Some researchers think that certain medications contribute to the development of psoriasis and should be avoided if possible. These medications are:

  • ACE inhibitors
  • beta blockers
  • chloroquine
  • indocin
  • lithium
  • progesterone

Skin injury /Sunburn - Another cause of psoriasis is skin injuries. Small cuts or wounds on the surface of the skin can trigger the condition. Another culprit for psoriasis flare ups is sunburn. The incidence of psoriasis to develop in this manner is called the Koebner Phenomenon.

Stress - One of the leading causes of psoriasis is stress. Recent studies indicate that many sufferers describe a particularly stressful or negative emotional experience that preceded the onset of the disorder.

Risk factors
Risk factors for psoriasis are factors that do not seem to be a direct cause of the disease but are associated to its development in some manner. Having a risk factor for psoriasis does not always lead to psoriasis. Similarly, the absence of risk factors does not necessarily guard an individual from getting psoriasis.

Anyone can get psoriasis, but it occurs more often in adults. People with psoriasis seem to have a genetic predisposition for the illness - certain genes have been linked to the disease. In many cases, there is a family history of psoriasis. Men and women get psoriasis at about the same rate. Risk factors for the development of psoriasis include:

  • age
  • genetics
  • family history

Much still is left to be learned about psoriasis. The genetic information recently uncovered is giving scientists hope that a cure is on the horizon. There are several other skin conditions have symptoms similar to psoriasis and even some medicine reactions can cause symptoms that are similar to psoriasis. So how do you know if you are experiencing symptoms of psoriasis, or not? Continue reading the following section on symptoms to learn more about the symptoms associated with psoriasis.  Know the symptoms of psoriasis.

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