Understanding What Genetics Research Is Doing for Psoriasis
Last updated: December 2022
I have had psoriasis for 55 years and everyone keeps telling me it is genetic. I recently saw an article discussing the likelihood of having psoriasis if either of your parents has it. If one parent has the disease, there is about a 10 percent chance of a child contracting it. If both parents have psoriasis, the chance increases to 50 percent. Neither one of my parents had it, so I guess I had a 100% chance of getting it.
Discovering the link between genetics and psoriasis will help people all over the world cope with the condition. Not only is it interesting for psoriasis champions to know how the skin disease is passed genetically, but it also takes some of the pressure off of people who have trouble locating triggers.
Genetic risk and psoriasis
We still don’t know the precise details on the link between psoriasis and genetics. It turns out that genes aren't the only component necessary for the development of this disease. Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are serious, poorly misunderstood diseases. There is no cure and they require sophisticated medical care and treatments. While the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, genetic and environmental factors play an important role in its development.
Remember that having psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis is something an individual cannot control. We're not able to pick which genes we take from our parents. Understanding the genes that you have and the situation you are in is an important step to leading a healthy and productive lifestyle. If you are a psoriasis champion, then you benefit through understanding how genetics are one of the causes.
More research is needed
We need ongoing research on genetics. Over the past few decades, certain discoveries have been made that link genetics to psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Yet, many researchers are still puzzled by what the links between genetics and psoriasis might offer in terms of treatment. There was a study done in 2010 from a researcher who points out that the link between genetics and the disease is well-known, yet many genetics, as well as environmental factors, remain to be identified.1
Discovering the genes that cause psoriasis will help identify the cause of this disease. It will help us find out what triggers we get and how this leads to defect the skin. Once we are able to understand this we can be able to get treatments that are helpful to us.
As we know unfortunately there is no cure for psoriasis, but ongoing medical research continues in an effort to better understand the causes and potential treatments. I’m hoping that one day when they find the right genetic factor they will find out why we get psoriasis and some people don’t. I have always thought we have a faulty gene somewhere in our body.
Getting closer to a clearer picture
The good news is that scientists have discovered some genetic variations linked to psoriasis. A related study identified three genes specifically associated with the development of psoriasis that are also associated with the immune system and skin. We are still trying to get more genetic components isolated, so we can be closer to understand why some people develop psoriasis while others don't, even when they have the same genetic makeup.
I am also a strong believer that with so much research going on with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis that one day they will narrow down the research. Since we are believing that genetics are being the cause of our condition we will need more scientific research and discoveries are needed in order to fully understand how this disease may be treated.
I also find it ironic that over the past 55 years, no one in my family has gotten the disease since. I have grown children and grandchildren. Maybe the buck started and stopped with me. We might never know.
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