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How can genes and your immune system cause psoriasis?

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Little bits of your DNA, called genes, act as instructions for your cells. They control things like your eye and hair color, if you can taste certain things, and other ways your body works. Some genes are only active at certain times.

When you have psoriasis, the genes that control your immune system signals get mixed up. Instead of protecting your body from invaders as it's designed to do, it promotes inflammation and turns skin cells on overdrive.

Scientists have found about 25 genes that are different in people with psoriasis. They think it takes more than one to cause the disease, and they're looking for the main ones.

SOURCES:

National Psoriasis Foundation: "Psoriasis Causes and Known Triggers," "Genes and Psoriasis," "Stress," "How Cigarettes and Alcohol Affect Psoriasis," "Pregnancy and Nursing."

NHS Choices: "Psoriasis - Causes."

Medscape: "Dermatological Management of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)."

American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: "Palmoplantar Pustulosis."

Ceovic, R. BioMed Research International, 2013.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on August 24, 2020

SOURCES:

National Psoriasis Foundation: "Psoriasis Causes and Known Triggers," "Genes and Psoriasis," "Stress," "How Cigarettes and Alcohol Affect Psoriasis," "Pregnancy and Nursing."

NHS Choices: "Psoriasis - Causes."

Medscape: "Dermatological Management of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)."

American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: "Palmoplantar Pustulosis."

Ceovic, R. BioMed Research International, 2013.

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on August 24, 2020

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How many people are affected by psoriasis?

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