Can Psoriasis Be Caused by Allergies?
If we have got allergies, we might wonder about the prognosis and outlook of the problem. One of interesting issues is about the link between the problem and psoriasis (a chronic skin problem). The exact causes of both health conditions are unclear yet. But experts believe that the abnormality respond of immune system may play a key role.
If you have allergies, the best way to cope with the problem is by avoiding the allergens. Allergens can be the trigger for the problem to flare up.
The allergens can vary from person to person. But in general, the following are some common allergens:
- Certain foods.
- Certain medicines.
- Insect bites.
- Pet dander.
- Or even some environmental factors such as excessive exposure to sunlight, too cold /hot temperature, etc.
In some cases, the problem may also occur due to external factors that cause friction to the skin such as wearing too tight clothes, or roughly stroking the skin.
The exact cause of the problem may be still not fully understood, but experts believe that both genetic trait and environmental factors play a role.
Another factor that may play a key role is the overactive or wrong respond of the immune system.
If you are an individual with allergies, you might blame allergens that trigger the problem. But actually, most allergens mentioned above are not harmful for most people. What really reason behind the allergic reaction is the abnormality of your own body’s immune system.
Normally, the body needs immune system to protect itself from harmful foreign substances such as harmful viruses and bacteria. In people with allergies, the immune system mistakes allergens as a serious substance, causing overactive action which then triggers abnormal allergic reaction.
How does the problem start?
If you do have allergies, the problem can begin with exposure.
Even when you get the exposure to an allergen many times before with no serious trouble – ‘at some point’ your body may mark it as a harmful substance and then you may experience an allergic reaction.
Additionally, the amount of exposure may also have an effect.
For instance, if you are allergic to certain food, maybe eating 1 or 2 of this food doesn’t cause any allergic reaction. But once you eat it more, your body may suddenly break out in hives and followed with other unusual symptoms.
Who is at high risk?
As written before, some factors are involved to put you at high risk of the disease and one of them is genes. If you have a family history of the disease, you are more likely to develop the same problem.
If you have one parent with allergies, you risk is about 33 percent of having the same problem. The risk can increase about 70 percent if both of your parents have allergies.
But being predisposed doesn’t mean you will definitely have or develop allergies. In other words, again genes are not the single answer behind the problem. Even many allergy-prone individuals are not allergic to everything.
Furthermore, your current health may also have a role. For instance, if you get a contact with an allergen and your current health is bad, you are more likely to experience an allergic reaction if compared when you current health is good.
It is a lifelong condition (chronic skin problem that can come and go), but with appropriate treatments and lifestyle approaches it should become a controllable condition & doesn’t cause serious complications.
The mechanism of how the disease develops is found in the top 5 layers of the skin (epidermis). The problems starts from the deepest layer of epidermis called basal, the place for the production of immature skin cells called ‘keratinocytes’.
Normally, keratinocytes have their own life-cycle that grow & move from the basal layer to the outermost layer of epidermis which then they shed naturally. This life-cycle can take about 4 weeks (a month).
In psoriasis, the production and movement of keratinocytes to the skin surface can go so rapidly and quickly (in days rather than weeks). As a result, they cannot shed quickly enough, causing build-ups (scaly patches) on the skin surface.
The reason of why keratinocytes can be produced so rapidly in psoriasis is not fully understood yet. But like in allergies, the abnormality of immune system may play a key role.
So immune system appears to become a key answer behind both problems.