Causes of Psoriasis

People often ask us about the causes of psoriasis. The causes of psoriasis are an overactive immune system and skin cells that grow too quickly. White blood cells called T cells help protect the body from infection and disease. In people with psoriasis, T cells are too active. Our skin cells are constantly being replenished, but in people with psoriasis, they are replenished too quickly. This causes psoriasis, a skin condition in which red scaly patches or blisters appear on the skin. The red patches and blisters are often inflamed, itchy, and sore.

No one knows exactly what causes psoriasis to occur in an individual. Some experts think there is a genetic component- it may run in the family. It usually does not develop until adulthood, although sometimes it is seen in children.

While psoriasis is not curable, symptoms may come and go. There will be periods of remission between periods of flare-ups. We'll talk about how to prevent flare-ups in the next section.

The causes of psoriasis are not preventable. However, there are things you can do to prevent flare-ups of the condition.

Treatment is aimed at the symptoms of psoriasis rather than the causes of psoriasis. There is no cure for the condition, only treatments that relieve the symptoms.

Psoriasis treatment is often described as a ladder. The first rung of treatment is topical medications. There are over the counter creams available that contain salicylic acid, which helps relieve the red, scaly patches of skin. There are also prescription creams, which usually include corticosteroids, medications that reduce the inflammation and itching. Topical steroid treatment can have serious side effects, however, including hormonal imbalances.

The second rung of the ladder is phototherapy, or light treatment. Exposure to ultraviolet light A or B can help clear up symptoms of psoriasis. Potential side effects include risk of skin cancer and cataracts.

The third rung of the ladder is oral or injected medications. This is called systemic therapy, and is used in severe cases. These medications are generally effective, but patients must be carefully monitored because of a number of serious side effects such as kidney and liver damage. Regular blood tests must be done in order to make sure these organs are functioning properly. Other possible side effects include depression, headache, joint pain, insomnia, mouth ulcers, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

Many people prefer to avoid the risks associated with traditional medical treatments for psoriasis, and are turning instead to natural treatments. Natural treatments usually don't have side effects, and sometimes have other health benefits as well.

See your doctor if you have symptoms of psoriasis. Talk with your doctor about what causes psoriasis and how to treat it.

Feel free to write to us if you have more questions about the causes of psoriasis.

More than the causes of psoriasis on our main psoriasis treatment page

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