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The immune system is your body’s defence mechanism. Think of your immune cells as soldiers lying in wait for an enemy to attack. When the enemy (for example bacteria or virus or even a scrape on the skin) attacks, the immune system gears up for action by sending its’ soldiers (i.e. immune cells) to defend the fort (i.e. your body) by initiating a process called ‘inflammation’, which is turn is one of the main causes of Psoriasis.
The link between inflammation and Psoriasis
Understanding the causes of Psoriasis will help you identify triggers and improve your ability to handle Psoriasis better.
Hair type or the eye color is definitely an inheritance, but sadly, so is Psoriasis.
Psoriasis does seem to run in families. In fact, 1 out of every 3 Psoriasis patients has a relative who also has Psoriasis. However, it is surprising that some people with a family history may never get the disease.
Having a parent with Psoriasis increases the chance of developing the condition.
Researchers have come to recognise that genetics and an overactive immune system alone may not cause Psoriasis symptoms. There is a third element involved, which is the exposure to external or environmental factors, called ‘triggers.’Just as the symptoms of Psoriasis are unique to each individual, so also are the triggers. Sometimes triggers can cause your Psoriasis symptoms to flare-up.
Can you detect your triggers?
Do you get Psoriasis symptoms when you are feeling particularly overwhelmed or stressed out? If your answer is yes, you need to recognize that inflammation is your body’s way to handle stressful situations. As you know, inflammation is the main culprit in the initiation of Psoriasis symptoms. Learning how to effectively handle stressful situations may help you effectively reduce Psoriasis flare-ups.
Injury can lead to activation of the immune system and any injury to your skin, like a scrape, cut, bruise, sunburn, rash, insect bite or even injury caused by a piercing or a tattoo may be a trigger for a Psoriasis flare-up. If you are susceptible to a flare-up due to a skin injury, you will see an increase in your symptoms around 10 to 14 days after the injury occurs. Learn to identify if injuries are the cause of aggravated symptoms.
Does a weather change increase your symptoms? Notice if the changes in the temperature and humidity cause your flare-ups. Some people may experience severe symptoms when the weather is dry and cold, while others find their symptoms increasing in warmer, more humid climates.
Smoking or exposing yourself to cigarette smoke is known to cause unexpected flare-ups. Alcohol consumption is known to reduce the effectiveness of Psoriasis treatments.
You may notice a sudden increase in your Psoriasis symptoms after you’ve had an infection like a strep throat, earache, bronchitis, etc. Psoriasis is usually triggered 2 to 6 weeks after the onset of infection. Children are usually observed to have a strep throat before their first flare-up episode.
Some medicines may trigger Psoriasis symptoms. Psoriasis flare-ups may be observed 2 to 3 weeks after you begin a new medication. Some medicines that are known to cause flare-ups are lithium, anti-malarials, propranolol, quinidine, indomethacin.
Symptoms of Psoriasis are known to increase with increasing weight. Keeping a check on your weight may help you reduce flare-ups.
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