Risk Factors for Psoriasis

We’ve shown a lot of pictures of psoriasis already on this site (and we’ll find more in the future as well!)  But what about some general psoriasis information for those who are looking for it?

I’ve been doing research into this skin condition, and I want to share some of those findings with you.

First of all, I try to get information from quality medical sites that provide actual, researched facts.  I want to make sure I’m not spreading any information that would hurt you instead of help you.  So I’ll include the links of where I found this so you can check it out for yourself.

So what are some risk factors for psoriasis?

It appears that psoriasis has a strong hereditary component (National Institute of Health).  It seems to run in families, and your risk is increased if someone in your family has it.  (Study by University of Michigan).  Researchers have found a link to a section of the chromosome 16.  Portions of chromosome 17, 20, and 6 were also implicated.

This means that if you have that gene, you have a higher chance of getting psoriasis.

Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t control the disease.  You can help prevent outbreaks by avoiding common triggers.  It is thought that psoriasis plaques form because the body overresponds and has an inflammatory response.  This causes the thick, red skin to overgrow, often in response to an injury.

To avoid inflammation, you will want to make sure you eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.  Some people believe that inflammation may be due to certain dietary elements, as well as exposure to toxins in the environment.  There is not a lot of research to support this yet.

Some known triggers of psoriasis include:

  • Bacterial or viral infection (especially for guttate psoriasis).
  • Dry air
  • Dry skin
  • Injury to the skin (which triggers the body to overproduce skin cells).
  • Stress
  • Some medications, including beta blockers, lithium, and antimalarial drugs.
  • Too much alcohol.
  • Too much or too little sunlight.

Psoriasis also may be worse in those with a weakened immune system.  This also seems to indicate that keeping your immune system strong through a healthy diet and exercise may help.

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