How common is psoriasis


The cause of psoriasis is a combination of two factors: a genetic predisposition and certain triggers such as stress, infections and mechanical stimuli on the skin. However, the disease does not occur in everyone who has the predisposition. Contrary to the common prejudice of many people, the disease is not contagious. Here you can find out how psoriasis develops, which triggers are known and why it sometimes involves joint involvement (psoriatic arthritis).

What causes psoriasis?

Where does my psoriasis come from? This question is asked by everyone who suffers from the reddish, inflamed areas of the skin with silvery scales.

Scientists today know that two essential factors in common lead to psoriasis:

  • Genetic predisposition - certain genes have to be changed, but this alone does not necessarily lead to an outbreak of psoriasis
  • Triggers and Risk Factors - are involved in every development of psoriasis and can trigger and worsen the disease

Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are autoimmune Systemic disease: The body's defenses are directed against the body's own healthy cells, which then become inflamed and react with excessive growth. As a result, the typical scaly plaques (areas that are covered with silvery scales) develop on the skin or inflamed and painful joints. In addition, there is increasing evidence that psoriasis also affects the cells of the blood vessels (endothelial cells).1

Now do the self-test in preparation for your doctor's consultation.

These two tests are a good basis for your doctor's consultation. This way you can be sure that all aspects and symptoms are discussed.

TheDermatological Quality of Life Index (DLQI)
measures the effects of psoriasis on the psyche and quality of life. These play an important role in the doctor's classification of the severity.

Are There Signs of Psoriatic Arthritis? With the
GEPARD screening you can check symptoms in the joints and make an early diagnosis
enable the doctor.

What is going on in the affected skin can be observed thanks to modern scientific methods:

  • The skin reacts to a stimulus with a Inflammatory response: The immune system tries to repair the damage. This creates the typical reddening of the skin.
  • When the body tries to heal the inflamed area, an additional one occurs excessively rapid reproduction of certain skin cells - the so-called keratinocytes. They migrate from the bottom to the top layer of skin at ten times the speed (in about 5 to 7 instead of 30 days).2
  • This too rapid cell renewal leads to the fact that many immature skin cells accumulate on the surface of the skin and become form scales in large numbers.

So-called Interleukins as messenger substances in the skin. As mediators between the cells of the immune system, they play a decisive role in the inflammatory reaction and can now be inhibited thanks to modern drugs (biologics).

Causes of Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis develops in about a third of psoriasis patients.3 The inner joint membranes, ligaments and capsules in particular develop inflammatory tissue. This limits the function and, if left untreated, leads to permanent damage. Why some patients develop psoriatic arthritis is as yet unknown. There does not appear to be a link between the severity of psoriasis and the development of psoriatic arthritis. On the other hand, the risk of joint involvement is increased if there is nail or scalp involvement.4

The role of genes: predisposition is a major cause of psoriasis

Current research assumes one genetic predisposition (Disposition) as a possible cause of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.5 Several genes can play an important role in the development of the disease, but the genetic disposition does not necessarily mean the onset of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. There can be several cases of psoriasis within a family:

  • If both parents suffer from psoriasis, the risk of psoriasis is significantly higher (around 70 percent) than with just one affected parent (around 30 percent).6
  • With identical twins, the probability that both will develop psoriasis is around 70 percent.7
  • Most psoriatic patients have at least one relative who also has the condition.8

Is psoriasis contagious?

No, psoriasis is not contagious. The disease is not transmitted by infection, so viruses, bacteria or fungi are not possible causes. Direct skin contact is also unproblematic.

It is important: a genetic predisposition does not automatically mean that psoriasis will appear in the course of life. The disease can skip several generationsbefore she reappears. In addition, there are no procedures that could determine the age, severity and form of the onset of the disease. This can differ even within a family. It is also unclear which genetic information exactly causes psoriasis.

Triggers - certain risk factors favor psoriasis

Hereditary disposition alone does not cause the disease to break out. Come as psoriasis triggers always external or internal risk factors (also known as provocation or trigger factors).

These so-called triggers can cause the plaques to appear for the first time - but they can also cause new relapses or worsen existing ones.