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Looking At The Causes of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder that inflicts 1% to 3% of the world’s population. It involves periodic flare-ups of well defined red patches with a silvery, flaky covering on the surface of the extensors and scalp. There are several kinds of psoriasis but the most common is plaque psoriasis. Although unknown, there are several causes of psoriasis.

In a regularly functioning immune system, the white blood cells are responsible for the production of antibodies as protection against foreign bodies such as bacteria or viruses. Likewise, they help heal and combat agents that can cause infection. In the case of psoriasis, however, some white blood cells fight regular tissues in the skin and joints.

In addition, these white blood cells are also responsible for the production of an unusually large amount of “healing” agents that can actually result to more inflammation in the skin and joints.

According to experts, psoriasis can be linked to genetic causes. Some research has proven that there are four key genes that are linked to psoriasis. They are responsible for the regulation of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system. These molecules aim to present foreign elements to the immune system so they can be destroyed in the process. However, by doing this it is disabling the immune system.

Patients suffering from psoriasis lacking HLA-CW6 is most likely to suffer from psoriasis at an earlier age. However, since it is only present in 10% of people who have this gene, the condition is attributed to other factors.

Moreover, the weather condition can likewise trigger psoriasis. The disease has the tendency to flare up during cold & dry weather while the symptoms of the condition improves during damp and sunny weather.

Severe stress can also play a big role in triggering psoriasis. Depression, anxiety, unexpected anger, and emotional disorders are strongly linked to an increase in psoriasis flare ups. In a study, it was revealed that almost 40% of patients had a history of stressful events that took place one month after a flare up. In another study, it was found that stress can activate certain immune factors related to psoriasis.

Bacterial or viral infections can also trigger the increase of psoriasis flare. The bacteria streptococcus, known for causing tonsillitis, sinusitis, and strep throat is one of the most well known triggers of guttate psoriasis. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is also linked to psoriasis.

In some instances, mild injuries to the skin such as abrasions can also bring about a psoriasis flare. The condition known as koebner phenomenon is believed to be the primary reason for the frequent appearance of lesions in the elbows and knees.

Finally, there are some drugs that are also connected to psoriasis or can begin a flare-up. Drugs like chloroquine, ACE inhibitors, Beta blockers, lithium, indocin, and progesterone can either increase psoriasis or trigger a flare-up.

Psoriasis is characterized by the growth of too many skin cells. Normal maturity of skin cells take place in 28-30 days but a skin cell causing psoriasis can mature within 3-6 days. There is no known cause for this but it is attributed to genetic factors and certain events, such as infections or stress, which can result to psoriasis

Knowledge of the causes of psoriasis can play a vital role in diagnosing and administering the proper treatment of the condition.


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