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Psoriasis (cont.)

What Increases Your Risk

Many doctors believe that psoriasis may be passed down from parents to their children (inherited). This is because certain genes are found in families who are affected by psoriasis.2 About one-third of people who have psoriasis have one or more family members with the condition.1

Other factors that can contribute to the development of psoriasis include:

  • Emotional or physical stress. Stress may cause psoriasis to appear suddenly or make symptoms worse (although this has not been proved in studies).
  • Infection. Infections such as strep throat can cause psoriasis to appear suddenly, especially in children.
  • Skin injuries. An injury to the skin can cause psoriasis patches to form anywhere on the body, including the site of the injury. This includes injuries to your nails or nearby skin while trimming your nails.
  • Smoking. Smoking may make you more likely to get psoriasis and make the symptoms more severe.3

When To Call a Doctor

Call your doctor if you have:

  • Symptoms of psoriasis. Early treatment may help keep the condition from getting worse. For more information, see Symptoms.
  • Signs of developing bacterial infection. These include:
    • Increased pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, or heat.
    • Red streaks extending from the area.
    • A discharge of pus.
    • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher with no other cause.

If you are currently being treated for psoriasis, call your doctor if you:

  • Have severe and widespread psoriasis and your skin is more irritated or inflamed than usual, especially if you have another illness.
  • Are taking medicine for psoriasis and have serious side effects, such as vomiting, bloody diarrhea, chills, or a fever.

Who to see

Health professionals who can diagnose and treat psoriasis include:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

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eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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