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A Look at the Potential Causes of Psoriasis

Jan 19, 2012

Psoriasis is a skin condition that is characterized by the development of itchy, red patches of skin that can further develop into silvery, thick patches. Psoriasis is a chronic condition that has no cure and can become painful, but it does respond positively to dermatologic care. Its symptoms can be mild or disabling, depending on the severity of the condition.

What Causes Psoriasis?

There is no definitive cause of psoriasis that is known, but dermatology experts suspect it is an immunological reaction. More specifically, research indicates that psoriasis may be an overreaction of T cells. T cells normally respond to invaders like viruses or bacteria, and aid in wound healing. Similar to the characteristics of other autoimmune disorders, it’s believed that bodies afflicted with psoriasis send T cells to normal, healthy areas, attacking the body’s own cells in an attempt to heal a perceived problem.

Autoimmune disorders such as psoriasis still require much research in order to isolate their exact causes. However, dermatologists and researchers have been able to establish a list of potential triggers for a psoriasis flare-up. They include:

  • Infection or virus.
  • Skin irritations such as insect bites, sunburn, or cuts and scrapes.
  • Tobacco use.
  • Stress.
  • Some prescription medications.
  • Cold climates.
  • Excessive use of alcohol.                                                                 

What Treatments are Available?

Dermatologic care for psoriasis focuses on managing and preventing the immunological response that causes flare-ups. Treatment also targets specific areas of skin that have been affected. Your dermatologist will design a treatment course that is best suited for your condition and may include topical creams, steroids, and light therapy. Treatments will depend on the severity of your condition.

If you believe you may be suffering from psoriasis, contact Arlington Dermatology for a full assessment and treatment options. Our skin care center is focused on helping you live the most fulfilling life possible, with minimal interference from skin conditions. Call us today at 847-392-5440 to learn more.

psoriasis behind ear