What Causes Psoriasis?

While the exact cause of psoriasis is not entirely known, scientists understand that psoriasis occurs due to various factors such as genetics, the immune system, and environmental reasons.

In the general population, up to 10 percent of people may inherit one or more genes that make them susceptible to psoriasis.

However, only two to three percent of people with the gene develop this condition. Board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness provides treatments for psoriasis to patients in Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and surrounding communities and suburbs in this part of the nation.

The Genetic Link

If a person has psoriasis, it is likely that someone in their family may have had this condition as well. There appears to be a genetic link in psoriasis development.

One in three individuals with psoriasis has a relative with the condition. Researchers indicate that up to ten percent of the general population may inherit one or more genes that make them susceptible to psoriasis. But only two to three percent of individuals with the gene actually develop the condition.

Environmental Factors

Some environmental factors may trigger the psoriasis genes which causes the condition to activate. These factors differ between people, and while one trigger may cause psoriasis to become active in one person, it may have no impact on another.

Certain known-trigger factors affecting psoriasis symptoms are:

  • Stress
  • Skin Injury (bug bites, cuts, scrapes, severe sunburns)
  • Infection (including strep throat or thrush)
  • Specific drugs (such as antimalarials, indomethacin, lithium, quinidine)

The Primary Role of the Immune System

The purpose of the immune system is to protect the body from an “intruder,” such as a common cold virus. However, sometimes the immune system mistakenly attacks the normal cells of the body mistaking them for intruders.

The exact reason behind psoriasis is still not entirely understood. But scientists believe that this condition occurs due to various reasons, including the immune system.

The immune system is overactive when a person has psoriasis. This leads to inflammation within the body. This is a cause behind the symptoms that appear on the skin.

The body generates an abnormal number of healthy cells. These surplus cells are pushed to the skin’s surface rapidly. The skin turnover cycle in the body is normally a month long. This reduces to just days with psoriasis.

The body just cannot shed skin cells that fast. Therefore, the cells gather on the skin’s surface. The red, thick patches on the skin, known as plaques, are actually an accumulation of excess skin cells.

Psoriasis and Comorbidities

When an individual has two or more conditions at a time, these are known as “comorbidities.” The comorbidities related to psoriasis include other immune diseases such as Crohn’s disease and psoriatic arthritis.

It is vital that the patient inform their doctor of any symptoms that they may be experiencing. This will help the doctor decide the best course of treatment to avoid or manage comorbidities.

Committed board certified dermatologist Dr. Jamie McGinness receives patients from Shiloh, IL; St. Louis, MO, and nearby areas across the landscape for psoriasis treatments.

If you would like to learn more about procedures and treatments at Metro East Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center by Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Jamie L. McGinness please contact us here or call (618) 622-SKIN (7546)

Taking new patients in and around the greater St. Louis, Missouri and Illinois area: East St. Louis Missouri, Shiloh Illinois, Belleville, Millstadt, Saint Clair County, Madison County and more.

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