Inflammation and Psoriasis: Making the Connection
The immune system and inflammation play a role in psoriasis. Here’s how they’re believed to be connected.
Think of the immune system as your body’s alarm system. When you get a cold, infection, or scrape on your knee, your immune system sends out signals that trigger inflammation in an effort to defend itself.
But when you have psoriasis, your immune system is out of balance. In fact, it’s in overdrive. An overactive immune system can send faulty signals and mistake healthy cells for harmful ones. This results in too much inflammation. For psoriasis patients, this means the body rapidly produces more skin cells than necessary.
Luckily, some treatment options can reduce inflammation, which may help the immune system and help to slow the rapid production of skin cells.
Talk to a dermatologist to learn more about treatment options that may work for you.
Is Psoriasis Genetic?
What do curly hair, eye color, and psoriasis all have in common?
They are all influenced by genetics. In fact, 1 out of 3 people with psoriasis has a relative who also has the disease. Not to mention, up to 10% of the population inherits one or more of the genes that predispose them to psoriasis, however, only 2% to 3% will actually develop the disease.
You might not be able to control your genetics, but here are some things you can control.
Psoriasis and stress
For those with psoriasis, stress can sometimes trigger inflammation and may cause symptoms to appear, reappear, or even worsen.
Injury to skin
Scratches. Bumps. Bruises. They all can irritate your skin and kick your immune system into high gear, aggravating your psoriasis.
Psoriasis and infection
One of your immune system’s major roles is fighting infection. For those with psoriasis, the body’s overactive immune system can send faulty signals that in turn trigger inflammation to continue even after the infection has been cleared.
Psoriasis and weather
Generally, fall and winter are worse for your psoriasis than warmer seasons. A combination of dry air, less sunlight, and colder temperatures can contribute to cold-weather flare-ups.