We Are Open

The Cadogan Clinic is currently offering a reduced service in light of the government's January lockdown guidelines.

All of our services will be delivered in line with the UK government's social distancing measures and fully compliant with all PPE guidance from Public Health England and NHS England.

Read more

Send an Enquiry

Call Us

What causes Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition of the skin which affects 2% of the population and causes an increase in the rate of the cell turnover.

The normal rate of cell turnover is around a month but in psoriasis, it can be as little as 3-4 days. This causes a build-up of skin cells which cannot be shed normally and typically presents as well-demarcated pink or red plaques with a superficial silvery scale.

The plaques tend to be symmetrical and most often occur on the knees, elbows and shins but can occur anywhere on the body. The scalp and flexures of the axillae (armpits) and groin may also be affected. Psoriasis can also affect the nails which classically have tiny depressions or pits and with separation of the distal nail margin from the underlying nail plate and may be associated with arthritis (joint pains).

Psoriasis is due to an immune system dysfunction and is not something you can catch nor is it contagious. It is mediated by T-cells, a class of white blood cells which usually fend off attacks from viruses and bacteria, but with psoriasis the T-cells attack the healthy skin stimulating the increased production of new skin cells and causing inflammation.

The cause of the T-cell malfunction is thought to be a genetic predisposition and environmental factors. There is often a positive family history of psoriasis and the environmental causes include:

+ Infection: especially a streptococcal sore throat which can trigger the onset of psoriasis and precede subsequent flares
+ Stress: this can trigger or aggravate psoriasis
+ Medication: prescribed medication for high blood pressure such as beta blockers can be associated with psoriasis as can Lithium and stopping strong oral or topical steroids
+ Alcohol: excess alcohol intake is associated with bad psoriasis.
+ Obesity
+ Smoking
+ Trauma: psoriasis plaques localize to areas of skin trauma such as a scar. The medical term for this is called Koebnerisation.

Psoriasis is a chronic disease that flares and subsides intermittently over life. While there is no cure for psoriasis (meaning the condition cannot be eradicated completely so a future flare-up never occurs), there are many ways to manage the symptoms.

Related FAQs:

Related Treatments

Related Consultants

Ask the Expert

Body & Breast

What conditions can arm and leg liposuction target?

Liposuction is the most effective way to get rid of loose, saggy skin and stubborn areas of fat in the arms and legs.

Read More

How much is an Otoplasty (or ‘Pinnaplasty’)?

Facial Treatments

How much is an Otoplasty (or ‘Pinnaplasty’)?

When it comes to making a decision about which provider or surgeon to select as your chosen preference for your Otoplasty procedure, safety and quality…

What is caesarean section scar revision?

Body & Breast

What is caesarean section scar revision?

Obstetricians are clever at creating high-quality Caesarian Section scars, but cannot avoid all potential problems. They try to place the scar transversely…

What aftercare do I need after fat transfer to breasts?

Recovery & Aftercare

What aftercare do I need after fat transfer to breasts?

The immediate concern is to support the breasts and avoid significant exercise, while the grafted fat is developing a new blood supply.

In The Press This Week

This month Cadogan Clinic consultants feature in Glamour Magazine and The Strategist discussing facial oils and skin issues related to face masks, whilst Clinic Founder Mr Bryan Mayou discusses post-lockdown trends in the plastic surgery market and a faster than expected rebound for the sector

View All News Articles