5 facts about the immune system and psoriasis

How does psoriasis affect immune system?

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How does psoriasis affect immune system?

Many people know the immune system plays an important role in the development of psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a lifelong condition that affects over 8 million people in the United States. Despite the prevalence of the disease, there is still a lot to learn about what causes it.

5 facts about the immune system and psoriasis

Most treatment and management strategies for psoriasis, including medications and lifestyle changes, focus on changing effects on the immune system. The immune system is also naturally affected by a range of factors.

This article explores five facts about the relationship between the immune system and psoriasis.

1. Misdirection of the immune system causes psoriasis

Healthcare professionals generally consider psoriasis as an autoimmune disorder Trusted Source, which means it develops when the immune system attacks normal, healthy cells in the body.

In psoriasis, immune cells, known as T cells, attack healthy skin cells. These T cells release signals that recruit other immune cells to create an inflammatory environment within the skin.

This causes the body to try to produce new skin cells faster than it needs to, resulting in extra skin cells piling on top of each other. This results in the characteristic red plaques associated with psoriasis.

However, this misdirection of the immune system may not be exclusive to the skin. Psoriasis often occurs alongside other autoimmune disorders, including:

  • arthritis
  • alopecia
  • thyroiditis
  • vitiligo

Autoimmune disorders are usually lifelong, although some cases of psoriasis that develop in childhood may resolve on their own.

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