4 known causes of psoriasis and what it is

Psoriasis on an elbow

Psoriasis is a skin condition which causes patches of red skin with silvery scales, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Psoriasis occurs when skin cells from deep in the skin rise too quickly to the surface. But what causes this condition?

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) recognizes four possible causes or triggers for psoriasis:

1. Stress

Stress can lead to psoriasis or worsen existing psoriasis.

2. Skin Injury

The Koebner phenomenon occurs when psoriasis appears on skin that has been injured or traumatized, according to NPF. Some known triggers of the Koebner phenomenon are sunburns, scratches and vaccinations. 

3. Medications 

According to the NPF, the following medications have been associated with triggering psoriasis: Lithium, antimalarials, inderal, quinidine and indomethacin.

4. Infections

Infections weaken the immune system and can lead to psoriasis. Strep throat, or streptococcus infection, is often associated with guttate psoriasis, in which small, scaly teardrop-shaped spots appear on the skin.

The NPF also notes that some individual’s believe that allergies, diet and weather are potential psoriasis triggers. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, dry skin may also lead to psoriasis.