Make an appointment:
Specialty
(i.e. Dermatologists)
Location

What causes psoriasis?

My doctor says my skin problems are psoriasis and now we're dealing with treating it. My question though, is what causes it in the first place? He said it was auto-immune but I don't know what that means.
Psoriasis is indeed an auto immune condition. What this means is that the body's own immune system develops a reaction to certain molecules found in the skin and begins to attach the skin itself. The exact trigger that causes this auto immune reaction to develop is not clear, however there is a strong genetic component that creates a tendency in certain people to develop psoriasis. Psoriasis may sometimes also be triggered by an infection, most commonly a strep throat infection. Fortunately, there are multiple effective treatments for psoriasis, and your doctor will work with you to figure out what these are. In cases in which the psoriasis is not very severe and just limited to the skin, often topical steroid creams are all that is needed. In cases in which the involvement of the skin is more severe, sometimes oral immune suppressing medications or light therapy are needed, and in this case usually a dermatologist will get involved in your care. Sometimes, psoriasis may also attack the joints, leading to stiffness and arthritis symptoms. In this case, oral immune suppressing medications are usually used, and this is most often done under the direction and expertise of a joint doctor, or rheumatologist. Please talk with your doctor.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

Nearby Doctors

  • Dr. Sitha Miller
    Dr. Sitha Miller MD
    Primary Care Doctor
    Avg Rec:
    9390 E Central Ave
    Wichita, KS 67206

Other Doctors

  • Dr. Gladys Martinez
    Dr. Gladys Martinez DO
    Primary Care Doctor
    Avg Rec:
    1001 NW 13th Street
    Boca Raton, FL 33486
  • Dr. Paul Leitner
    Dr. Paul Leitner MD
    Primary Care Doctor
    Avg Rec:
    8540 South Sepulveda Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90045
  • Dr. Brian Price
    Dr. Brian Price MD
    Primary Care Doctor
    Avg Rec:
    3607 Manor Rd
    Austin, TX 78723