Is psoriasis genetic? In short: It can be. Read to learn more about this skin condition, how it may be passed down, and ways to keep your symptoms at bay.

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Is Psoriasis Genetic: What You Need To Know

08/07/20228 min read

Is psoriasis genetic? And, if so, what does that mean for your psoriasis treatments?

When you are experiencing a health issue, you want to pinpoint the cause. But the cause of skin conditions such as psoriasis can be elusive because there are so many possible reasons for flare-ups.

In this article, we’ll discuss how genetic factors play a role in psoriasis development, as well as ways to heal your delicate skin. But, first, let’s start by defining what exactly psoriasis is.

Table Of Contents

What Is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that causes itchy, scaly rashes on the skin because skin cells grow faster than normal. In a psoriasis flare-up, the skin cells will multiply just like they do when healing, but much too rapidly.

This autoimmune response can be triggered by something circumstantial, like an illness or medication. But symptoms may also be triggered by things like cold and dry weather, scrapes and cuts, and irritation from socks or shoes that don’t fit well.

Other types of psoriasis triggers are lifestyle-based. These can include poor sleeping patterns, unhealthy or inflammatory diet choices, and high levels of stress. If that’s the case, part of the treatment for psoriasis will include avoiding your personal triggers.

If you know the triggers for your psoriasis symptoms, you may see the light at the end of the tunnel. But if you have trouble figuring out your triggers, or even seem to get flare-ups without any triggers at all, how can you heal your skin?

By learning the answer to the question “Is psoriasis genetic?” you will discover just how deeply linked psoriasis is to your genetic code and how this unlocks treatment options.

Is Psoriasis Genetic: A DNA Strand

Is Psoriasis Genetic?

No one knows the exact cause of psoriasis, but many experts believe that genetics can play a role. If you have a family member with psoriasis, you are more likely to experience a flare-up in your lifetime.

DNA And The Immune System

Scientists are still looking at which genes are directly involved in psoriasis, but they have identified about 25 gene variants that can increase your risk for psoriasis. These gene variants are believed to cause changes in the way the body’s T cells behave.

Normally, your body’s T cells fight off harmful invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. However, they can also attack healthy skin cells by mistake in people with psoriasis.

When this happens, the immune system can respond in a variety of ways, including:

  • The enlargement of blood vessels in the skin
  • An increase in white blood cells that stimulate the skin to produce new cells more quickly than usual
  • An increase in skin cells, T cells, and additional immune system cells
  • An accumulation of new skin cells on the surface of the skin
  • The development of thick, scaly patches associated with psoriasis

Basically, your immune system is your body’s way of healing itself and fighting off illnesses. Psoriasis is a disease in which your immune system thinks your newly formed skin cells are a foreign invader and attacks them.

This attack triggers a response that causes an overproduction of skin cells and leads to the rash and itchiness you experience. Just as there are often family members with similar allergies, blood relatives can sometimes suffer from the same type of immune response.

Put simply, some families will have risk factors that are passed down, but it doesn’t mean every person in the family will have autoimmune disorders. Psoriasis can be triggered in those born with the risk factors, but there are many other factors that determine if they will develop it or not.

What Psoriasis And Genetics Mean For You

There’s a lot more that researchers need to learn about this psoriasis, but having an idea of what triggers your symptoms can help you treat them more successfully.

Below, we’ll look at different ways to treat psoriasis, ranging from topical treatments to light therapy, so that you can soothe your delicate skin and get the relief you deserve.

Man looking at skin on his face

Different Ways Of Treating Psoriasis

In general, because of the link between psoriasis and genetics, many medical or systemic treatments that target this association have shown to be very effective in relieving psoriasis symptoms.

But if you don’t want to start with systemic treatments, you have many other options — like topical treatments, diet changes, stress management, and phototherapy.

Let’s take a look at a few below.

Topical Treatments

A psoriasis flare-up can be itchy, painful, and uncomfortable, but psoriasis creams can calm down those symptoms — and much more.

For example, at Bodewell, we’ve developed a line of psoriasis products formulated to deeply relieve your symptoms while working to improve the appearance of skin over time.

Our Psoriasis Calming Cream and Psoriasis Soothing Spray helps itching, irritation, redness, flaking, and scaling and can be applied regularly to reduce symptoms.

Lifestyle Adjustments

The next thing to try for psoriasis treatment is adjusting your lifestyle habits.

For example, one commonly underrated factor that can irritate your skin is your diet choices. Certain foods are known to be more inflammatory and can worsen your psoriasis or cause a new flare-up.

UV Light Therapy

Woman with arms outstretched on the beach

Phototherapy treatment, or UV light treatments, use the ultraviolet rays found in sunlight to help you manage your psoriasis. The UV rays actually slow down cell reproduction processes, which can yield amazing results.

While UV light therapy must be done in a facility or clinic with the proper equipment and trained professionals, appropriate sunlight exposure from going outside can benefit your skin as well.

Combination Treatments

Treatment for psoriasis can range from systemic medications to simple home remedies. You may need to try various treatments to find what works best for your skin.

However, make sure not to overwhelm your system with too much at once. Start small and add new products and lifestyle habits as you learn what your body responds to.

Family tree connecting psoriasis to genetics

Better Skin Days Ahead

So, is psoriasis genetic? Although the answer to this question is complex, hopefully, this article brought the clarity you needed and helped you understand the link between this skin condition and genes.

Now that you understand the causes of psoriasis, you can decide how to approach healing your skin. Start by eliminating triggers and choosing gentle products to reduce symptoms, such as our Psoriasis Calming Cream or Psoriasis Soothing Spray.

Alongside healthy lifestyle choices, you can find a treatment plan that works for you and get back to better skin days in no time!

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