The causes of psoriasis
Psoriasis runs in families: If a parent, grandparent, brother, or sister has psoriasis, you have a higher risk of getting it.
Psoriasis is not contagious. Unlike chickenpox or a cold, you cannot catch psoriasis from someone.
While we know that psoriasis isn’t contagious, scientists are still trying to determine exactly how psoriasis develops.
Scientists have learned that a person’s immune system and genes play a role in causing psoriasis.
When a person has psoriasis, something goes wrong in the immune system, so T-cells also attack the body’s skin cells. This attack causes the body to make new skin cells more often. The extra skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin, and you see psoriasis.
Once T-cells start to attack skin cells, this usually continues for the rest of a person’s life. There is one exception. Some children who get a type of psoriasis called guttate (gut-tate) psoriasis never have it again.
We know that psoriasis runs in families. Scientists have found that people who have certain genes are more likely to get psoriasis.
What complicates matters is what else scientists have learned. It’s seems that some people who get psoriasis don’t have genes that increase their risk of getting psoriasis.
It’s also possible to have genes that increase the risk of getting psoriasis and never develop psoriasis. It’s this discovery that led scientists to believe that the person must be exposed to a trigger before psoriasis appears.
This may be caused by a trigger, such as injury, sunburn, certain classes of medicines, infection, stress, alcohol, or tobacco. Though not contagious, the condition is hereditary. Psoriasis often returns and can be more severe one time than another.
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