Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is psoriasis hereditary?"
I have psoriasis. If I become pregnant will I give it to my child or is that not how people get it?
Psoriasis, as you know, is a chronic skin condition which is autoimmune, meaning the body attacks the skin, leading to red, itching, and scaling spots on the skin. Psoriasis does have a strong genetic component. For example, about 40% of people with psoriasis have family members with psoriasis. However, there are also cases of psoriasis that occur without any family history. What this means is that, although there is definitely a genetic component, there is no guarantee that a person will develop psoriasis just because of genetics. There are numerous environmental factors, including various infections, smoking, and other factors, that can serve as triggers to bring psoriasis out in a person. In short, we can say that your child is likely to be at higher risk of developing psoriasis given the fact that you suffer from the condition. However, they may not develop the condition. The best thing that you will be able to do for your child is make sure that they have regular visits with their pediatrician. Make sure that, after your child is born, you mention to the pediatrician your personal history of psoriasis. At your child's regular visits, they will look for signs of psoriasis as well as ensure that your child is otherwise generally healthy.
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