Summary of the issue

The causes of psoriasis

As there are various types of psoriasis, there are many different origins. This chronic inflammatory disease, which causes an accelerated renewal of the epidermal cells, has both a genetic and an environmental component.

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When the immune system goes wrong

One of the causes of psoriasis is a disturbance of the immune system. Specialists refer to this as an autoimmune disease. In concrete terms, immune cells called T lymphocytes and neutrophils become active in the skin for unknown reasons. They produce inflammatory molecules. This phenomenon stimulates the proliferation of keratinocytes, the cells of the epidermis that form the scaly patches characteristic of psoriasis.


Sometimes, in the workshop, it’s important to explain to the hydrotherapy patients that one does not "catch" psoriasis. A person who has no predisposition will not experience a flare-up, even if he or she suffers an emotional shock. 


Advisor at the Skin Health Education Workshops - Avène Hydrotherapy Center


Is psoriasis hereditary?

Genes that predispose people to psoriasis have been identified. However, none of them is involved in the development of the disease on its own. The combination of several genetic abnormalities is probably necessary for psoriasis to manifest itself. The precise genetic mechanism that may be a cause of psoriasis is still unknown. But at least 30% of cases are familial.

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Psoriasis: external causes

Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease with various causes. Among them, the patient's environment (climatic conditions, pollution, etc.) and lifestyle (stress, alcohol, tobacco, medication, etc.) can have an impact.

The role of certain bacteria

Psoriasis sometimes occurs in children, especially after a nasopharyngeal infection. This is particularly common in the case of strep throat.
In this case, it is the guttate form of psoriasis that most often occurs.

Suspected medications

Certain medications may also be involved. This is the case with certain immunosuppressants, molecules indicated in the treatment of hypertension and bipolar disorders.


Treatments against psoriasis

Psoriasis in children


Identify the personal factors

The causes of psoriasis and its flare-ups also depend on your environment and lifestyle. Identifying these and then eliminating them can help. This is the case for friction from clothing, certain positions, smoking and scratching. For a tiler, for example, psoriasis outbreaks will appear more easily on the knees, on which they lean all day long. Depending on the individual, cold, heat or sunlight can trigger flare-ups. 


Combating stress

Although emotional shock or stress is not the cause of psoriasis, it can lead to flare-ups. In fact, stress is both a cause and a consequence of the disease. Anxiety can cause a flare-up, which in turn causes stress due to the way people look at you, lack of sleep or itching, for example. To combat this stress, approaches such as yoga, sophrology or meditation are valuable aids. 

Spotlight on care and anti-itching tips

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