Causes of psoriasis
The exact etiology of psoriasis is not known. Most experts say that the disease is genetic (is inherited). Approximately one third of people with psoriasis have at least one family member (blood relatives) with this disease.
In any case, it is unclear whether genetic factors act alone in determining the disease or if there are also other personal or environmental factors that also have a role in triggering the disease.
Psoriasis is not an infecto-contagious disease, so it cannot be transmitted from one person to another.
Experts believe that immunological factors (immune system) have a role in psoriasis, given that this disease may reveal abnormal skin layers (hyperkeratotic plates) with a large number of leukocytes (white blood cells, involved in mediating immune response).
Another argument for the etiology of immune nature of the disease is the fact that the disease responds to immunosuppressive treatment (that inhibits the immune system).
There are many factors which were involved in the etiology or worsening of psoriasis, among which we can mention:
- cold and dry climate is a factor that can worsen the specific symptoms of psoriasis. Hot and humid climate as well as sun on the other hand can improve symptoms of the disease
- skin lesions, regardless of location, can cause formation of hyperkeratotic plates. The most common are lesions occurring in the nails region and around them
- stress and anxiety can cause the appearance of psoriasis and can, also, can cause the appearance the appearance of psoriasis and may worsen existing lesions
- infections, especially infections of the throat (pharyngitis, tonsillitis), can cause psoriasis (by different immune-mediated mechanisms). This is especially common among children infected with streptococcus.
- certain drugs, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (AINS), beta-blocking agents (drugs used in the treatment of heart disease and hypertension) and lithium salts, can aggravate the symptoms of psoriasis.
It is very important that people with psoriasis consult a doctor before taking these drugs.