What is the cause of psoriasis? The answer is still a mystery. Two theories have delved into explaining what causes psoriasis. The first theory says psoriasis is a skin disorder which causes unexplained growth and replication of the skin cells. This excessive growth and duplication occurs due to an erroneous epidermis and its keratinocytes.
The second theory says that psoriasis is an after effect of an immune system malfunctioning. This results in the extreme growth and reproduction of skin cells causing psoriasis. Every body has T-cells that act as the protectors of the body against infections. When the immune system starts to malfunction, these T-cells become active and move to the dermis. Here they activate the discharge of cytokines which in turn causes severe swelling of the skin and excessive growth of the skin cells. It is still not very clear what actually causes the T-cells to become active.
The second theory is more acceptable, as immunosuppressant medications have been successful in removing psoriasis plaques. However, it is not yet clear whether T-cells actually play a role in psoriasis or not. Recent research on animals has shown that animal psoriasis can be produced in mice that don’t have T-cells. Also, animal models cannot cover all the aspects of a human body system, hence leaving some questions answered.
Generally the first occurrence is after the patient has either high stress, both mental and physical, any wound on the skin or a bacterial infection. Climatic changes, stress and skin infections are known to make the condition worse.
Oily skins and well moisturized skins are generally not affected with psoriasis. People with dry skins or a wound on the skin are more prone to being infected. Their skin lacks the lubrication that protects it and lets micro-organisms grow on it.
Athlete’s foot and psoriasis are very different to each other. Athlete’s foot is caused when the skin is too moist and has fungal infections on it that thrive in the moist. Whereas, psoriasis is caused by dry skin conditions as the skin lacks the moisture to combat skin infections. Athlete’s foot has very similar symptoms to psoriasis like swelling and rashes on the skin, dry skin and faster skin turnover.
You can prevent psoriasis by taking appropriate measures. Avoid using shower gels during bath time. These gels are abrasive in nature and peel off the natural moisture of the skin leaving it more vulnerable to infections. You can also use talc to soak-up the excess moisture left on the skin after a bath to reduce the chances of being infected by micro organisms that flourish on moist and wet skin. Irrespective of your skin type, use a moisturizer to keep your skin moist and supple to prevent any skin infections.
Immense research has been performed to get to the bottom of the cause of psoriasis. However, we are not sure about what the main cause of it is. It can either be a failed immune system or unexplained skin growth and regeneration. Every theory has its own merits and demerits and should be followed after due consideration only.