What Are the Triggers of Psoriasis?

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ask the experts

What are the triggers of psoriasis?

Doctor's response

While the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, researchers consider environmental, genetic, and immune system factors as playing roles in the establishment of the disease. For example, environmental factors can trigger exacerbations of the disease, including:

  • cold weather,
  • trauma,
  • infections,
  • alcohol intake, and
  • some chemicals and/or drugs.

Certain genes are more commonly found in people with psoriasis, and psoriasis commonly runs in families.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease whereby one's immune system is misdirected to cause inflammation in the skin. Current treatments often take advantage of this concept by modifying immune responses to improve psoriasis. Moreover, it is also known that, occasionally, after an immunological-related event occurs (for example, recovering from strep throat, after antimalarial drugs, or cessation of steroid therapy) there can be activation of psoriasis.

Read our full medical article to learn more about psoriasis treatment and prognosis.

REFERENCE:

"Treatment of psoriasis in adults"
UpToDate.com

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Reviewed on 9/26/2017
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