No one knows exactly what causes psoriasis (PsO) yet, but scientists are working hard to understand it and we now know more than ever before.1 The relationship between the immune system and psoriasis, triggers and new targeted treatments are continually being studied.2 Research suggests there may be an imbalance with the immune system, but genetics may also have a part to play.1 If one parent has psoriasis a child has about a 28% chance of developing psoriasis. If both parents have psoriasis, a child has approximately a 65% chance of developing psoriasis.2 Psoriasis usually happens when something triggers it, like an infection, taking certain medicine, skin damage or stress.3 In fact, up to 1/2 of young people say their PsO developed after an infection.1
PsO usually develops between 15 and 25 years,1 and certain factors related to your environment or lifestyle may cause symptoms to ‘flare up’, in the same way that it may have been triggered in the first place.3 Unfortunately, having PsO can be stressful, and stress can cause flares, flares can cause stress, and so on, in a vicious circle.4 PsO is always there though, even if sometimes you don’t have symptoms, so at times you may think it’s disappeared, and then it comes back.
There are different reasons why PsO flare-ups happen.3 Injury to the skin and certain medicines, such as lithium or ibuprofen, can lead to a flare, and infections can cause one or make it worse.3 It’s also worth keeping an eye on potential vices, as drinking heavily or smoking cigarettes is also known to trigger flares.3 While you can’t be cured of psoriasis, with the right strategy, it can be kept under control.9 It’s important to keep taking your treatment, even if you don’t have symptoms at the moment.7 So if you have any concerns about the state of your symptoms, or your treatment, make sure you let your healthcare professional know, in case there’s another way to help you.
Read our useful guide about how to make the best use of the limited time you have with your healthcare professional during each consultation.