The red patches and scaly skin associated with psoriasis is a mild nuisance to some patients suffering from the condition, while others may consider it extremely bothersome. Learning about psoriasis and what you can do to improve and prevent symptoms from appearing is often the first step in improving quality of life.

Family History

Those with a family history of psoriasis may be at greater risk of the condition. This is often considered the greatest risk factor for psoriasis, as just about a third of patients with psoriasis have another relative who has the disease.

Infections

Patients with other conditions like HIV may be at an increased risk of psoriasis as well. The weakened immune system of patients with HIV may put them at greater risk, while children or young adults with recurring conditions such as strep throat may also be at greater risk. Talk to your doctor if you have a condition like HIV that may increase your risk of psoriasis, or if you have a recurring condition like thrush or strep throat.

Other Risk Factors

Stress is thought to play a role in psoriasis as well. High levels of stress may have a negative impact on the immune system and leave patients at greater risk of psoriasis. Obesity and smoking are also considered risk factors. Cold weather and heavy alcohol consumption are considered triggers for psoriasis, along with smoking, stress and infections, and may worsen the condition. Infections and injury to the skin are also considered triggers. Talk to your doctor for more information about risk factors of psoriasis and to assess your own risk of the disease. Individuals with a family history of psoriasis are encouraged to talk to a doctor about what they may do to reduce their risk.