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Psoriasis Causes and Risk Factors
Research indicates that the disease results from a disorder in the immune system. The immune system programs the white blood cells that protect the body from infection. In psoriasis, T lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) abnormally trigger inflammation in the skin. These T cells also cause skin cells to grow faster than normal and to pile up in raised plaques on the outer surface of the skin.
Those with a family history of psoriasis have an increased chance of having the disease. Some people carry genes that make them more likely to develop psoriasis. When both parents have psoriasis, the child has a 50% chance of developing psoriasis. About one-third of those with psoriasis can recall at least one family member with the disease. At this time, there is not a specific plan or method that is recommended to prevent psoriasis in those who may be predisposed to develop it. It may be possible to avoid certain triggers that may worsen or aggravate the condition, but prevention itself is not possible.
Certain risk factors may trigger psoriasis.
Guttate psoriasis. Red drop-like lesions are found on the skin. This type of psoriasis usually occurs after a streptococcal (bacterial) infection. Image courtesy of Hon Pak, MD.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/30/2015
Jeffrey J. Meffert, MD
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