Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Anyone can develop psoriasis, but these factors can increase your risk of developing the disease:
- Family history. Perhaps the most significant risk factor for psoriasis is having a family history of the disease. About 40 percent of people with psoriasis have a family member with the disease, although this may be an underestimate.
- Viral and bacterial infections. People with HIV are more likely to develop psoriasis than people with healthy immune systems are. Children and young adults with recurring infections, particularly strep throat, also may be at increased risk.
- Stress. Because stress can impact your immune system, high stress levels may increase your risk of psoriasis.
- Obesity. Excess weight increases your risk of inverse psoriasis. In addition, plaques associated with all types of psoriasis often develop in skin creases and folds.
- Smoking. Smoking tobacco not only increases your risk of psoriasis but also may increase the severity of the disease. Smoking may also play a role in the initial development of the disease.
- Feldman SR, et al. Epidemiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of psoriasis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 22, 2010.
- Questions and answers about psoriasis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/topics/psoriasis/psoriasis.htm. Accessed Nov. 26, 2010.
- Burden AD, et al. Diagnosis and management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in adults: Summary of SIGN guidance. BMJ. 2010;341:987.
- Feldman SR, et al. Treatment of psoriasis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 30, 2010.
- Light therapy. National Psoriasis Foundation. http://www.psoriasis.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=430. Accessed Nov. 30, 2010.
- Living well: Healthy eating. National Psoriasis Foundation. www.psoriasis.org/netcommunity/learn_eating. Accessed Nov. 30, 2010.
- Aloe. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Nov. 30, 2010.
- Fish oil. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Nov. 30, 2010.