Psoriasis Awareness Month: What Causes Psoriasis?
August is widely known as Psoriasis Awareness Month. While the exact cause of psoriasis is not fully understood, it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and immune system factors. In this blog, we’ll go over these factors so you can understand more about the causes of psoriasis.
Genetic Factors of Psoriasis
Psoriasis tends to run in families, indicating a genetic predisposition to the condition. Certain genes, especially those related to the immune system, play a role in increasing the likelihood of developing psoriasis. If psoriasis runs in the family, you have a higher chance of developing psoriasis.
Immune System Dysfunction
Psoriasis is considered an autoimmune disease, which means the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells as if they were harmful pathogens. In a healthy immune system, white blood cells called T-cells help defend the body against infections. However, in individuals with psoriasis, these T-cells become overactive and trigger an inflammatory response, leading to the rapid growth of skin cells.
Psoriasis Environmental Triggers
Certain environmental factors can exacerbate psoriasis symptoms in susceptible individuals. These triggers can include the following:
- Infections: bacterial or viral infections can worsen psoriasis symptoms.
- Injury or trauma: skin injuries, such as cuts, burns, or bug bites, can trigger the development of psoriasis lesions at the affected sites.
- Stress: psychological stress is believed to play a role in worsening psoriasis symptoms.
- Medications: some medications, such as beta-blockers, lithium, and antimalarial drugs, can trigger or worsen psoriasis in certain individuals.
- Smoking and alcohol: both smoking and excessive alcohol consumption have been associated with an increased risk of developing psoriasis and exacerbating existing cases.
It’s essential to note that psoriasis is a complex condition with individual variations in its triggers and severity. While there is no cure for psoriasis, various treatments, including topical creams, phototherapy, and systemic medications, can help manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for those affected by the condition.
Book an Appointment
If you suspect or know you have psoriasis, consult a healthcare professional such as one at Keys Dermatology for proper diagnosis and personalized treatment options. Call 305-664-8828 to book an appointment.