Symptoms and risk factors of psoriasis


Psoriasis is a commonly occurring skin condition that accelerates the production of skin cells, leading to its rapid build-up on the skin’s surface. These extra skin cells create red patches along with scales and cause itchiness and pain.

Psoriasis is a chronic disease. It is also intermittent, which means that it occurs at irregular intervals. The primary goal of treatment is to control the rate at which these skin cells grow.

While no cure exists for psoriasis, the symptoms can be managed. One way of managing the symptoms of this condition is by making some lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, managing stress, and moisturizing regularly. Read on to know more about the symptoms and risk factors of psoriasis.

The symptoms of psoriasis different from person to person. Some commonly occurring signs and symptoms include:

  • Red patches on the skin along with thick, silvery scales
  • Scaly spots in children
  • Cracked and dry skin that may bleed
  • Soreness, burning, or itching
  • Ridged, thickened, or pitted nails
  • Stiff and swollen joints

Psoriasis patches can either be a few spots of scaling that look similar to dandruff or a major eruption covering large areas. Most cases of psoriasis are cyclical. So, the condition flares up for weeks or months and then subsides for some time.

Risk factors
While psoriasis can affect anyone, the factors given below put people at a higher risk of developing the disease:

  • Family history
    A family history of psoriasis is one of the most significant risk factors. An individual is at risk of developing the disease if even one of their parents is suffering or has suffered from psoriasis. The risk is higher when both parents have a medical history of the disease.
  • Infections
    People with infectious diseases like HIV are highly susceptible to psoriasis as compared to people with strong immune systems. Children or young adults who suffer from recurring infections are also more prone to psoriasis.
  • Stress
    High levels of stress can affect the immune system and increase the risk of psoriasis.
  • Obesity
    Excess body weight makes people prone to psoriasis. In many cases, lesions or plaques occurring in psoriasis develop in skin folds and creases.
  • Smoking
    Smoking or any form of tobacco consumption not only makes people susceptible to psoriasis but can also affect the severity of the disease. Smoking is another crucial risk factor that has an impact on the development of the condition.