Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, inflamed patches of skin at best, and silver flakes representing skin dandruff at worse. The exact causes are not known but genetics is believed to play a role. Several triggers though have been identified, due to their impact on the immune system. When you have psoriasis, your immune system malfunctions and incorrectly attacks itself. It sees healthy cells as the intruder. The body then rushes to make excess skin cells and these dead cells than have to be discarded of, which is when the silver flakes appear during a flare-up.
While psoriasis does not discriminate on the basis of age, it is mostly seen in adults. Many people incorrectly assume that they have a red skin allergy rash at first. In the US, it is estimated 7.5 million people are sufferers. If you know your triggers, you can minimize flare-ups.
As mysterious as the exact causes and triggers of psoriasis are, it is possible that genetics could provide clues. Has anyone in your family line suffered from this skin condition which causes dry, flaky skin? If so, you may develop this autoimmune disease. According to scientists, one in 10 people can inherit a single gene or more that puts them at risk of developing psoriasis.
The good news is, just because you have the genetic makeup predisposing you to psoriasis, that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get the symptoms. A small fraction – only 2% to 3% of people who have the psoriasis gene in the DNA, will, in fact, develop it. That’s because there’s a gap between being programmed for something on a DNA level, and the body actually biologically acting on that programming code. Genetically, psoriasis is commonly passed on though. One out of three people who have psoriasis report that they do in fact also has a relative with the disease.