What Causes Psoriasis?

Reviewed: April 16, 2016
By eHealthIQ

Psoriasis is a condition that causes your skin cells to grow much faster than normal. This rate of growth can be difficult for the rest of your body to maintain, which causes the excess skin to dry out and pile up in itchy clumps. So what causes this to happen? Psoriasis is not entirely understood, but we do know that there are a number of concrete factors that can definitely contribute to contracting it. Let’s take a closer look and see just what is Psoriasis caused by.

Genetics

One of the easiest ways to determine if you’re at risk for Psoriasis is if you have anyone else in your family with it. There is research that shows as high as ten percent of the population may inherit the Psoriasis gene, although only a fraction of the people with that gene actually fully develop it. Those who have the gene may not even know it until they get affected by a certain trigger.

Psoriasis Triggers

When it comes to answering the question what is Psoriasis caused by, having the Psoriasis genes is only the first part of getting Psoriasis. It generally needs to be triggered by something in order to turn those genes ‘on.’ Things that triggers Psoriasis include the following:

Infections
There are a number of different infections that could possibly set off Psoriasis. One of the most common infections is strep throat. Children in particular will often develop strep throat prior to getting an outbreak. There are others, though, such as tonsillitis, bronchitis, earaches, pneumonia, the flu, or even something as simple as the common cold.

Abrasions
Any type of skin injury can easily set off Psoriasis. Common examples include bug bites, scrapes, basic cuts, or even things such as a bad sunburn or too much scratching.

Colder Weather
Many people react to colder weather by getting drier skin, but people with the Psoriasis gene may react to this cooler temperature by causing it to set off an inflammation.

Stress
Being stressed out is another way in which people with Psoriasis can experience an outbreak. This may trigger a Psoriasis gene to become active.

Certain Medicines
There are a number of medications that can cause Psoriasis outbreaks to those who have the genes. They can even cause Psoriasis to worsen. Some of these include Lithium, which is a medicine designed to treat Bipolar disorder, heart medicines such as propranolol, Indocin, chloroquine, Plaquenil, and quinacrine.

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