What Causes Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a complex problem that affects cell regeneration. The result is skin that thickens into silvery patches that itch. This disease is not something you catch at the grocery store or something your child brings home from daycare, but a chronic condition that runs in families. The exact cause is unknown, but the current theory supports immune system involvement. Since doctors don’t know why some people develop patches, it is hard to say who will suffer, but there are psoriasis risk factors that help pinpoint those prone to this condition.
To understand the risk factors for psoriasis, you need know more about the illness. With psoriasis, the life cycle of skin cells changes. Cells may grow in spurts with generation happening quickly. This flash growth causes a buildup of skin in patches, or plaques.
The most significant factor is genetics. If someone in your family suffers from psoriasis, your odds of having the condition increase. Forty percent of people diagnosed with this skin problem have someone else in the family with it, as well.
People with HIV or another infection like strep are prone to psoriasis. It is unclear why, but since both relate to the immune system, that may be the connection.
Stress has an effect on immune system functioning, so it tends to trigger a psoriasis outbreak. Not everyone who feels anxiety develops patches, but if you are prone to the disease, you may see more outbreaks during stressful periods.
Being a smoker increases your risk and the severity of outbreaks. If you have psoriasis, smoking will exacerbate the condition, and make it harder to control.
Like smoking, obesity has an overall detrimental effect on the body. Any chronic condition you suffer from will be harder to control if you are overweight. This includes skin problems like psoriasis. Obesity adds another level of risk. Scales may develop in creases and folds of the skin.
Psoriasis is a chronic condition. In other words, it will come and go. Managing psoriasis risk factors such as stress and weight can reduce outbreaks and help you control the illness. If your family has a history of skin problems, see a doctor if you develop red, patchy areas that itch.