The cause of psoriasis is something that most people with the condition first wonder about after a diagnosis. While there is no definitive answer as to the main cause of this skin condition, the immune system and genetics are contributing factors.
Psoriasis, which results in dry, scaly skin, can develop at almost any age, but it usually affects people between 11 and 45 years old. It also affects both men and women equally. While the immune system and genetics play a role, neither of these factors is really the cause of psoriasis.
Medical experts acknowledge that a malfunctioning immune system can be a contributing factor in developing this condition. This fact came to light in 1979 when doctors saw an improvement in people who received immunosuppression drugs after bone marrow transplants.
When the immune system malfunctions, it results in an overproduction of skin cells. In people without the condition, the process of skin regeneration and shedding takes approximately three to four weeks. For people with psoriasis, the process is much quicker at between three to seven days resulting in a build-up on affected areas.
For individuals with this skin problem, the T-cells of the body immune system breakdown as well as strike healthy and balanced cells rather than battling just those cells that could create infections. This devastation of healthy and balanced cells causes the deep level of skin to create much more skin cells. Naturally, this overflow of skin cells just offers to drive the body immune system to create much more T-cells to strike the brand-new skin cells.
The reasons the body immune system acts by doing this are not known, yet some ecological elements additionally contribute. Till scientists determine a reason for psoriasis, it will certainly not be feasible to completely clarify why some individuals wind up getting this skin disease and also others in the exact same family members or atmosphere do not.
Over 30 percent of people who have a first degree relative (parents or sibling) with this condition will develop it themselves at some point. However, over 50 percent of people with this skin disorder have no knowledge of anyone else in their immediate family with the psoriasis. As such, it is not possible to accurately predict who will or will not end up having this condition.
Geneticist Anne Bowcock, Ph.D, was able to identify the CARD14 gene mutation as a causative factor in people who develop psoriasis. Additional research indicates that a number of different genes combine, resulting in some people being more prone to developing psoriasis than others. When the condition is a result of genetics, outbreaks or flareups can occur due to stress, some types of medication and damage to the skin.
Many things can trigger a first episode or subsequent outbreaks. None of the triggers are a cause of psoriasis, but they help to manifest the outward signs of the condition. The main triggers for an episode include:
Whatever the cause of psoriasis, although the condition is not curable, it responds well to treatment. The treatment of choice is what doctors usually refer to as the 1-2-3 method, which includes starting with over-the-counter creams and ointments, phototheraphy (light treatment) if the creams do not work and then oral or biological drugs such as Enbrel and Stelara. Controlling stress is also important.