Causes of Psoriasis

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The cause is unknown although it is accepted that is an immunological disease that manifests in genetically predisposed individuals and which may occur under certain conditions.

DNA molecule or helix

Genetic factors. There are several genetic markers that cause familial cases of psoriasis. Some of these markers are associated with psoriasis manifesting earlier and more intensely.


Infections. Infections can activate certain immune responses that cause psoriasis in people with a predisposition to this disease. For this reason, guttate psoriasis is typically seen in children after Streptococcus infections. It has also been seen that infection by HIV can cause psoriasis to develop in some people.

Risk factors for Psoriasis


Infections. Some bacterial infections, such as of the throat, or viral infections, like HIV, have been seen to trigger or maintain psoriasis lesions in certain people.

Blue, white and green pills

Drugs. It has been found that certain medications, like lithium salts, antihypertensive drugs, such as beta‑blockers, and anti‑malarial drugs can aggravate or produce outbreaks of lesions.

Wrist fracture seen on X-ray

Trauma. The psoriasis lesions can be chronic in areas of spontaneous or scratch‑induced rubbing.

Person with symbols on the head representing stress, anxiety, confusion, disorientation, headache or migraine

Emotional tension. This is one of the reasons for the aggravation or appearance of psoriasis lesions.

A pitcher of beer and a Martini or cocktail glass

Alcohol. Alcohol can increase the risk of having psoriasis so it is advised to avoid its intake.

Cigarette crossed out on a "no smoking" poster

Tobacco. It can be a trigger of the disease. Long-term smoking in large quantities is considered a risk for the development of psoriasis. In all patients with psoriasis advised to stop smoking as an improvement measure.

Substantiated information by:

Felipe Julio Ramirez Garcia
Mercè Alsina Gibert
Paula Aguilera Peiro
Sara Gómez Armayones

Published: 22 February 2019
Updated: 22 February 2019

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