• Psoriasis Causes


Psoriasis is considered to be an autoimmune disease that results in overproduction of skin cells. The process begins when a person's immune system fights against an infection, but the antibodies it makes continue to attack normal cells.

Persons with a family history of psoriasis have an increased chance of having the disease.

When both parents have psoriasis, the child may have a 50% chance of developing the condition. About one-third of those with psoriasis have at least one family member with the disease.


Some of the established triggers amongst causes of psoriasis include:

  • Injury to skin: Injury to skin has been associated with plaque psoriasis. A skin infection, skin inflammation, or excessive scratching can trigger psoriasis.
  • Sunlight: Most people generally consider mild sunlight to be beneficial for their psoriasis. However, strong sunlight aggravates the psoriasis. This is one of the causes of psoriasis.
  • Streptococcal infections: Some evidence suggests that streptococcal infections may causes of psoriasis especially a type of plaque psoriasis.
  • HIV: Psoriasis worsens after an individual has been infected with HIV.
  • Drugs: Some medications are known to aggravate psoriasis:
    • Lithium - used to treat depression and other psychiatric disorders
    • Beta-blockers like Inderal - used to treat hypertension
    • Antimalarials such as Plaquenil, chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine
    • Anti-inflammatory drugs like indomethacin, ibuprofen or naproxen
    • Quinidine - used in treatment of malaria and arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats)
  • Emotional stress: Increased emotional stress is one of the important causes of psoriasis known to increase or worsen attacks.
  • Smoking: Smokers have increased risk of chronic plaque psoriasis.
  • Alcohol: It is one of the principal causes of psoriasis and known trigger, particularly in young or middle-aged males.
  • Hormonal changes: Severity of psoriasis may fluctuate with hormonal changes. Its frequency peaks during puberty and menopause.