Blog

Question: Is Psoriasis Hereditary?

Father and son with hereditary psoriasis

Answer: The short answer is yes. Psoriasis can be hereditary.

Family history does play a role in the probability of developing psoriasis, but there is more to the story. Heredity is one of the many factors that can predict being affected by psoriasis.

Healthline reports, “If both of your parents have psoriasis, your risk is 50 percent.” That doesn’t mean people without a family history of the condition are immune from developing psoriasis. No one knows the exact causes of psoriasis so anyone can be diagnosed with psoriasis, including people with no family history of the condition. When psoriasis symptoms surface, it’s never the work of genetics alone. Psoriasis needs a trigger. Triggers such as illness, cold weather, or stress—in addition to genes—can activate flareups.

“The disease is thought to manifest as a consequence of an inappropriate immune response against currently unknown causal agents, of self (e.g. autoantigen) or non-self (e.g. bacteria) origin, whereupon leucocyte recruitment and activation at the site of the developing cutaneous lesion perpetuates the disease,” explains the National Institutes of Health. In other words, psoriasis symptoms result when an immune system response goes haywire.

We don’t know the root cause of the immune system misfire. T-cells will mistakenly attack skin cells, triggering an immune system response that includes inflammation and the regrowth of skin cells in just a few days, rather than weeks. The hyperactive growth creates thick patches of skin that cause redness, scales, tightness, itching, and burning.

Psoriasis is a complex disease and to this day, is not fully understood. There have been scientific breakthroughs in recent years that are getting us closer to understanding the roles genes and environmental triggers play in psoriasis. It’s clear that to adequately predict in the future if someone will develop psoriasis we will need to examine their family history in concurrence with environmental and behavioral factors such as skin injury, body weight, alcohol, or tobacco use, and medications.

If you have psoriasis, but no known family history of it, you are not alone. Or if you have questions or concerns about other linked hereditary conditions such as psoriatic arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and other autoimmune diseases, please contact the National Psoriasis Help Line at 800-723-9166.

5 Tips to Find for the Best Coal Tar Shampoo for Your Scalp Psoriasis

Coal tar shampoos are formulated to treat the symptoms of scalp psoriasis, dermatitis, and dandruff. Brands extensively advertise their percentage of coal tar, the primary active ingredient in these shampoos. It might be tempting to grab whichever bottle claims the highest percentage of coal tar printed the biggest on the front label. Unfortunately, it’s not […]

Frequent Handwashing Causing Irritating Cracks and Dryness? You Can Prevent Dry Skin

In the earliest stages of the Coronavirus pandemic, as the outbreak took hold of the U.S., public health officials proclaimed the importance of frequent and sustained handwashing. It was a public service announcement, heard on repeat. Everyone from health care professionals to the general public knows too well that increased handwashing causes dry skin and […]

How to Cope with Scalp Psoriasis

As an autoimmune skin condition, psoriasis can appear virtually anywhere on your skin, but a flare-up of scalp psoriasis and its symptoms can be a challenge to deal with. Due to its sensitive location, scalp psoriasis can cause additional discomfort and embarrassment, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It also notes that nearly 50 […]

What is Red Light Therapy?

Though it is has been in existence for nearly six decades and used in other applications, such as by astronauts to grow plants in space, red light therapy is now being explored as a non-invasive way to treat a number of skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis. Unlike other forms of phototherapy, which rely on […]

Aging with Psoriasis

Though it’s a condition that can occur at any point in our lives, psoriasis can be particularly troubling as we get older. As we age, our skin’s natural changes can influence how effective treatments are and what is most appropriate for our bodies. Most people have learned what psoriasis treatments help alleviate their symptoms, but […]

What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Psoriasis and arthritis are not widely considered related, but there does exist a disease affecting about 1.5 million Americans that draws a direct line between the two. Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that often begins with a diagnosis of psoriasis. Just as psoriasis is thought to be caused when the autoimmune system […]

Eczema Treatment Secrets Revealed in Fungus

We are living in exciting times. In the last couple of years alone, new advancements in the treatment of eczema have been researched and tested with promising results. But a discovery from Swiss scientists reveals that a fungus might hold the key to better understanding eczema causes and triggers. A recent report published by Science […]

What Makes a Good Beauty Cream for Eczema?

When it comes to personal care, facial beauty creams are significant in terms of the array of products available and the sheer number of people who buy them. According to Statista, skincare products make up 37 percent of the cosmetics market—the largest category in its class. Is facial cream a beauty product, a health product, […]

Breaking the Stress-Psoriasis-Stress Cycle

The link between psoriasis and stress is not grounds for breaking news. Even the most basic online search will turn up studies going back decades, with countless blog and magazine articles to match. And one thing they all seem to agree on? Dealing with psoriasis-related stress is much like dealing with any other stress—something that […]