Who Is At Risk For Developing Psoriasis?
August is National Psoriasis Month, and in our previous blog post, we discussed what psoriasis is and how it is treated. To recap, the most common form of psoriasis– plaque psoriasis — is an autoimmune disease that causes the skin to break out in itchy, red, scaly plaques.
Who is at Risk of Developing Psoriasis?
Among racial groups, Caucasians are at higher risk of developing psoriasis; it occurs in about 2.5 percent of Caucasians as opposed to 1.3 percent of African Americans. While psoriasis can develop at any age, it most often appears between the ages of 15 and 25. Researchers believe there is a strong genetic aspect to psoriasis because one out of three people with the condition has a relative who also has psoriasis. In addition, if both parents have psoriasis, their child has a 50 percent chance of also developing the disease.
Those with HIV or those with compromised immune systems are more likely to develop psoriasis. Children with recurring viral and bacterial infections—particularly strep throat—may be at an increased risk. Because high levels of stress have a negative impact on the immune system, chronic stress may increase the chances of developing psoriasis as well. Researchers also believe that smoking not only causes psoriasis to be more severe, but that it also may play a role in the initial development of the disease.
Although some may be at higher risk for psoriasis, anyone can get it. It may go away for a long period of time and then return. Keep in mind that it’s not contagious, but it is a lifelong condition that requires consistent, controlled treatment from a physician.
If you would like more information on psoriasis, visit the website for the National Psoriasis Foundation.