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What increases my risk for psoriasis?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

The medical history of your family is thought to be a major contributing factor to psoriasis development. Up to a third of the population with psoriasis is related to someone else with the skin disease. Factors that affect your immune system health may also increase your risk of psoriasis as well. Specifically, smoking or having an obese body weight puts you at risk. Also those who are prone to illness, infection or stress are more likely to develop psoriasis, as are those with HIV. Skin tone may also affect your risk, as psoriasis occurs more often in those with fair skin.

Psoriasis affects both men and women of all ages although most people develop psoriasis as adults. The most significant risk factor for psoriasis is a family history of the condition. You are more likely to develop psoriasis if someone in your immediate family has it. As many as one third of the people with psoriasis may have a blood relative with the condition.

Environmental factors also are important. People who live in colder climates are more likely to develop psoriasis and often develop the condition earlier in life. Other factors that may influence your psoriasis risk include ethnicity. Psoriasis is less common in African-Americans and is rare in native ethnic groups from North and South America.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.