What are the Risk Factors for Psoriasis?
Psoriasis affects more than eight million people in the United States, making it one of the most common skin conditions seen by dermatologists.
It shows up as dry, scaly patches of skin, red spots, thickened nails, and sometimes is accompanied by joint pain. Psoriasis is more than just a surface problem; it’s a disease of the autoimmune system, with genetic causes, that emerges under certain circumstances or risk factors.
Psoriasis Treatment in Windermere and Orlando
If you have psoriasis, there are treatments to manage the condition and keep outbreaks quiet. At our Orlando-area office, Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center provides treatments to restore your skin to health and calm your immune system, utilizing either biologic injections, topical creams and ointments, or systemic medications, like pills. Light, or phototherapy, which is not offered in our office, also can help reduce symptoms and get affected skin back to a healthy, normal state, though this treatment requires multiple sessions per week.
The cause of psoriasis is genetic and can affect anyone. The National Psoriasis Foundation estimates about 10 percent of people have the genes that could lead to psoriasis.
Even if you have the genes associated with psoriasis, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to suffer from it. Only about 2 to 3 percent of people do actually develop the condition. It usually takes some type of autoimmune event, such as an infection, injury or a time of great stress in your life, to trigger the emergence of this skin issue.
Even after a triggering event like this, help is available through a number of treatments, once our medical team determines the problem. Psoriasis can sometimes be confused with other conditions like eczema, so it’s always a good idea to see a dermatologist like Dr. Hudgens before embarking on a treatment plan.
Are There Risk Factors for Psoriasis?
Some main factors that will put you at greater risk for developing psoriasis are whether you have family members with the disease, whether you’ve had a bacterial or viral infection lately, if you have high levels of stress, if you’re overweight, and if you’re a smoker. If you’re on certain medications for other conditions, such as antimalarials, lithium, blood pressure medications, and some other drugs, there also is a higher risk of triggering psoriasis in those who are already genetically prone.
There are things you can do to reduce many of these risk factors, such as losing weight, quitting smoking, and practicing good stress reduction and relaxation techniques to manage outside stress in your life.
If you’re struggling with psoriasis and looking for ways to reduce your outbreaks or heal current ones, please contact Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center to find out what we can do to help you.