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Causes and Risk Factors of Psoriasis: What You Should Know

Causes and Risk Factors of Psoriasis: What You Should Know

Psoriasis is a skin disease wherein the skin cells grow 10 times faster than average. And this results in dry, flaky scales on the skin. Due to an overactive immune system, skin cells pile up and trigger itchiness, swelling, and redness. Learn more about the causes and risk factors of psoriasis.

How Many People Have Psoriasis?

According to statistics, 2% to 3% of people worldwide are affected by psoriasis. This condition is more common in other cultures and countries such as Northern Europe and is least common in East Asia.

Psoriasis is considered a noncontagious disease and has no cure. If psoriasis worsens, it can cover up a large part of the skin. However, medication can help in managing the symptoms and avoid severe conditions. The symptoms of psoriasis occur at any age, but it often starts between ages 15 and 25. People of any gender and skin color can get psoriasis.

Causes of Psoriasis

The primary cause of psoriasis is still unknown based on health professionals. However, it is commonly related to the immune system and genetics.

Immune system

The immune system plays a big role in the rapid production of skin cells. White bloods cells (WBC) are often deployed to fight off infections and kill bacteria. But in the case of psoriasis, there may be a mistaken attack of the WBC, which triggers skin cells to multiply at an accelerated rate.


Genetics is also responsible for psoriasis. The chance of having this skin disease is higher when a family member has this condition.

Risk Factors of Psoriasis

There are no definite causes of psoriasis. However, some factors may trigger the prevalence of this skin condition. Some of the common factors include:


High-stress levels can trigger psoriasis, and psoriasis can trigger stress. Stress management and relaxation techniques can help prevent the symptoms of psoriasis from getting worse.


Cuts on the skin and tiny bug bites may trigger psoriasis flare-ups. Also known to triggers are exposure to sunlight, surgery, and vaccinations.


If the immune system detects bacteria in the body, it will fight it off aggressively and trigger a psoriasis flare-up


Too much consumption of alcohol causes the outbreak of psoriasis. When managing or preventing flare-ups, limit your alcohol intake or avoid it completely.


Some medications trigger may psoriasis, such as lithium, antimalaria, and high blood pressure medication. Consult your doctor for the best treatment.


Cold weather and/ or sunlight can trigger psoriasis. In this case, less sunlight and humid weather worsen the condition. Psoriasis may crack and bleed during cold weather, while it can cause itchiness in a hotter environment.


The least common factor that triggers psoriasis. Allergy patients suspect that food and drink allergies worsen the condition on their skin.

Prevention of Psoriasis

Psoriasis can be controlled and prevented with proper management. Avoid inducing or putting chemicals and other food items that may trigger the condition. Less exposure to these items can reduce as well the severity of this disease n.

In addition, taking care of your skin and scalp can help prevent the occurrence of psoriasis. Proper hygiene such as taking regular baths, safely trimming nails, and using moisturizers will help improve overall skin health and protect you from infections.

According to some studies, maintaining a healthy weight can help as excess weight may trigger symptoms.

Key Takeaways

Psoriasis is a skin disease related to the immune system that affects people of any age and skin color. Due to the causes and risk factors of psoriasis, this skin disease may manifest on different parts of the body and cover up a large part of the skin as it worsens. This disease has no cure, but it can be prevented and treated. Talk to your doctor on how to properly manage it through medication and other preventive measures.

Learn more about Psoriasis here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


About Psoriasis, https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/ Accessed December 31, 2020

Psoriasis, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/symptoms-causes/syc-20355840 Accessed December 31, 2020

Psoriasis Causes, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/psoriasis/causes/, Accessed December 31, 2020

Psoriasis Triggers: How to Find and Manage Yours, https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/triggers, Accessed December 31, 2020

Causes and Triggers, https://www.psoriasis.org/causes/, Accessed December 31, 2020

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Written by Den Alibudbud Updated Jun 16
Medically reviewed by Angeli Eloise E. Torres, MD, DPDS