What Causes Psoriasis?
July 05, 2016
Category: Dermatology
Tags: Psoriasis  

You San Antonio dermatologist can tell what could be causing red patches of skin on your body.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition that affects about three percent of people worldwide. Your psoriasis might be itchy, painful or even Psoriasisdebilitating. Of course figuring out the cause of your outbreaks may be able to help you figure out which treatments will work best. From the office of your San Antonio, TX dermatologists, Dr. Rebecca Kelso and Dr. Emily Fridlington, find out more about psoriasis and what you can do to get the relief you need.

What is psoriasis?

This common but chronic skin condition causes skin cells to build up quickly on the skin’s surface. Because of the fast buildup, these extra cells form thick, scaly, red patches that can itch, crack, bleed or even be painful. Symptoms of psoriasis will often go away for a bit just to be triggered again later on.

What causes psoriasis?

There is still quite a bit that’s unknown about psoriasis and one thing that researchers are still discovering is the root cause of this condition. A problem with the immune system might be to blame since overactive or malfunctioning T-cells can trigger this overactive immune responses.

What might trigger my psoriasis?

Maybe a more important question is, “What issues can cause an outbreak of psoriasis?” Psoriasis usually appears because a specific trigger is present. Common psoriasis triggers include:

  • Dermatological injuries like a sunburn or abrasion
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Infections
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Cold weather
  • Taking certain medications (e.g. beta blockers; iodides)

Who is at risk for developing psoriasis?

While anyone can develop this condition there are certain risk factors that may predispose you to this disease:

  • Stress
  • Viral and bacterial infections
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Family history

How is psoriasis treated?

There are three different types of treatments that can be used either on their own or in combination with other treatments to stop the fast growth of skin cells and to remove the thick, scaly patches of skin: topical medications, light therapy and general medication.

Topical medication

This includes medications like steroids that are applied directly to the skin to treat mild to moderate forms of psoriasis. Those with more severe forms are more likely to use these topical ointments or creams along with other treatment options.


Using either natural or UV light, this treatment exposes skin to a controlled amount of sunlight to kill the activated T-cells in the patches of skin. By reducing the buildup of skin cells phototherapy can also reduce inflammation and scaly patches.

General medication

This can be anything from oral to injectable medications and are often recommended for patients with severe or resistant psoriasis. Systemic medications include retinoids, cyclosporine and other immune system drugs.

Are you suffering from psoriasis in San Antonio, TX and desperately looking for relief? We understand how frustrating this condition can be and the dermatological experts at Alamo Heights Dermatology are here to help. Call our office today!