Understanding the Causes of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic state that affects the skin and joints of more than 1-3 per cent of the world’s population. Persons between the ages of 15 and 35 are most prone to the disease but can strike at any age. About 10-15 per cent with psoriasis acquires it before age 10. Heredity plays a role in causing psoriasis. At least 10 per cent of the population inherits the genes that make them predisposed to psoriasis, which is why taking the best DNA ancestry tests is crucial to find out if you have a long line of psoriasis sufferers on both sides of the family.


On the other hand, a small 2-3 per cent of the population picks up the disorder. What triggers this disease is not common. One person’s cause of psoriasis can’t make another person have it too.

Here are the known causes of psoriasis:




Psoriasis can be caused by stress either for the first time or can exacerbate the existing condition. Studies discovered that the cortisol hormone alters the responses of the immune system and is released when the body goes through physical or emotional stress. A very high level of the hormone cortisone is released. Conversely, 3/4 of those with psoriasis during the remission stage have low cortisol level.


Skin injury


Injured or traumatized areas of the skin are susceptible to psoriasis, too. This is called Koebner phenomenon. An irritating injury like bug bites, scrapes or bruises, and burns, including sunburn or chemical burns are examples of minor skin traumas that can result in Koebner phenomenon. This is the formation of psoriasis plaques that develop at the site of the injured skin.


Infection of the immune system


Among children, a streptococcus throat infection is the first onset of guttate psoriasis. A strep throat is accompanied by bronchitis, ear ache, respiratory infection (colds and cough) or tonsillitis.


Cold Weather


Cool and dry air can aggravate psoriasis. Oftentimes, the weather condition provokes the dry, scaly, itchy red areas associated with psoriasis. The low humidity in the air permits the skin to dehydrate causing tiny cracks or fissures on the skin surface. The drier the skin gets, the patches look worse and get painful. Use deep penetrating moisturizer and bath oil to manage the skin in any weather.


Heavy alcohol drinking and smoking


Latest studies reveal that alcohol and cigarettes not only worsen the symptoms of psoriasis, but these are believed to actually cause psoriasis in some patients. Alcohol, specifically, has very serious side effects if it combines with some medications for psoriasis. Findings how smoking has increased the incidence of psoriasis and contributed to slower recovery rate from psoriasis of affected smokers.

Both alcohol and cigarette render some medications ineffective. The psoriasis-afflicted person needs to understand the need to change his lifestyle. Dietary recommendations are also thought to improve the condition and hasten recovery.


On the other hand, you need to know that once you know the causes of psoriasis, learn to deal with it. It takes planning and determination to cope with the symptoms and causes of psoriasis.

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