What causes Pso?

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 A child with one parent with psoriasis has a 10% chance of developing it, and a 50% chance if both parents have Pso.1 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 35 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.5-7

Cold weather can trigger flares in some people8


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.


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1.    National Psoriasis Foundation. About psoriasis. Available at: https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis. Accessed June 2020.
2.    National Psoriasis Foundation. The immune system and psoriasis. Available at: https://www.psoriasis.org/research/science-of-psoriasis/immune-system Accessed: June 2020.
3.    NHS. Psoriasis: causes. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/psoriasis/causes/ Accessed June 2020.
4.    WebMD. Dealing with psoriasis. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/dealing-with-psoriasis Accessed June 2020.
5.    NHS. Psoriasis: symptoms. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/psoriasis/symptoms/ Accessed: June 2020.
6.    Rendon A and Schäkel K. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Mar; 20(6): 1475.
7.    AAD. How long will I have to treat my psoriasis? Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/treatment/medications/how-long Accessed: June 2020.
8.    WebMD. What triggers a psoriasis flare up. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/qa/what-triggers-a-psoriasis-flareup Accessed June 2020.
9.    British Association of Dermatologists patient hub; Psoriasis: an overview. Available at: https://www.skinhealthinfo.org.uk/condition/psoriasis/ Accessed: June 2020.