Is There A Link Between Genetics and Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a highly uncomfortable skin condition that often results in itching, inflamed skin, rash or a general redness. It is most typically found on elbows, knees, and scalp, but it can also flare up across the chest, the abdomen, and in a variety of other spots on the body.
Approximately 125 million people around the world are currently diagnosed with psoriasis - or in other words, around 3 percent of the global population. In the United States alone, there are around 7.4 million people living with psoriasis.
How Does Psoriasis Work?
As an autoimmune disease, psoriasis results when your blood’s immune cells mistake your skin for an invader, and begin to attack. A rush of new skin cells often flows up from underneath, resulting in the symptoms listed above.
On average, psoriasis develops between the ages of 15 and 25, though it can spring up at any age. While psoriasis can develop in individuals with no known family history of the disease, studies have shown that family history does indeed increase one’s predisposition to getting it.
As psoriasis results from the relationship between the skin and the immune system, its exact genetic link has yet to be identified (though genetics in general unquestionably play a role). Specifically, your risk of developing psoriasis increases to 10% if one parent has the disease, and your risk of developing it increases to 50% if both parents carry it.
Overall, approximately one-third of those diagnosed have a known relative with psoriasis. Currently, gene therapy is offering hope for those afflicted. A gene mutation known as CARD14 has been isolated by scientists, and studied as a possible common link. However, for the 125 million people currently living with psoriasis, only the symptoms themselves can be managed.
As stated earlier, further research suggests that genetics alone may not cause psoriasis, but simply increase the odds. Environmental triggers are still thought to play a large role in psoriasis actually developing. For instance, even with both parents carrying the disease, the child may not show symptoms until other factors come into play.
Common environmental triggers for psoriasis are led by stress, which is difficult to quantify, but is nonetheless one of the leading causes mentioned in many published studies.
As far as more easily quantifiable triggers go, there’s a very large overlap between smokers and those with psoriasis. This suggests that cigarettes can be a sharp trigger as well. So if you’re genetically predisposed to the disease, all the more reason never to pick up the habit.
Weather is another major factor when it comes to psoriasis. Many report their first flare-ups coinciding with a move to a different (usually a colder or dryer) climate. Injuries are also reported to be major triggers, whether through damaging the skin itself, or through the associated stress and trauma.
Illness is also a contributing factor, with strep throat infections for instance being linked to development of psoriasis in later years. Finally, various food allergies have been linked to psoriasis, with red meat, eggs and gluten all exceptionally active in triggering flare-ups.
Alleviating The Symptoms
Eating a clean diet, minimizing smoking & drinking, and reducing environmental stress can all contribute to less frequent flare-ups. Moisturizing can also help reduce symptoms.
Delfina has a proven track record of alleviating psoriasis symptoms. It works by penetrating the skin’s outer layers and stimulating hydration from within. Read more about how Delfina works here, and read Delfina success stories here.
Whenever flare-ups arise, make sure to apply Delfina Dry Skin Oil at least twice a day for the first 14 days. After symptoms have subsided, continue to apply it frequently to maintain your newly-fresh skin. A regular moisturizing routine that incorporates Delfina Dry Skin Oil is critical to reducing skin dryness that often leads to flare-ups.
While scientists have yet to cure the disease itself, psoriasis flare-ups don’t have to be a burden. You can reduce the risk of flare-ups by following healthy guidelines, protecting your skin from the cold, and committing to a regular moisturizing routine.
Delfina Dry Skin Oil is the preferred moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated, and just as importantly to manage the symptoms of psoriasis as they flare up. A routine that includes Delfina Dry Skin Oil is an important safeguard against psoriasis’ worst effects, whether you inherited the disease genetically or not.