Flaky bits

Published on | by redblob

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Is Psoriasis Hereditary?

If you have kids, what would you want them to inherit? Your knee-buckling looks? The L’Oreal hair? Your amazing wit? Or how about, your streaky bacon psoriasis skin? That’s probably not on the list, is it? If you have those concerns, and most broody flakers would, then you’ve come to the right place. Is psoriasis hereditary? Yes, and no.

Yes, there is a genetic side to it

Without beating around the bush, researchers have proven that certain flakers are genetically predisposed to having psoriasis. So, like passing on genes for blonde hair or brown eyes, you could pass on a bit of DNA to your kids that increases their susceptibility to having psoriasis.

Psoriasis genes can be inherited

Check out my psoriasis jeans! Nice & flaky!

Some of the genes that have been found to play a role in this regard are HLA-Cw6 and VEGF. Research also shows that identical twins are more likely to BOTH develop psoriasis than non-identical twins, which reinforces the point.

According to certain studies, the chance of a child inheriting psoriasis if one parent has it is 10%. If both parents have it, then the likelihood of a child developing it rises to 50%. That’s a worrying thought!

But, there’s a bright side

Psoriasis is hereditary, to an extent

Wake me up when you stop talking numbers.

However, don’t go flaring-up or running to get your tubes tied just yet! There’s still hope – because even if you do have the “psoriasis gene”, there’s no saying that it will actually come out and manifest itself.

Take for example, the incredible figure that one in ten people carry the genes that are associated with psoriasis. Yet, only 2% develop it. This means that you may inherit a certain bodily make-up that makes it likelier that you will flake, but its not the only deciding factor.

Other factors have to align

Psoriasis has a whole cluster of known causes – which include environmental toxins, diets, stress, infections and other triggers. Your child may very well sail through life without so much as getting one little blemish on their skin.

Just think of it as a Rubik’s cube. You can have the bad genes, but they have to align with a load of other tiles for you to complete the psoriasis puzzle. For example, some people carry the gene, but only burst out in flakes after they get a strep throat, a well-known trigger for an initial outbreak.

The other consolation I can offer is that the typical age at which people get psoriasis is 13 to 15, and not baby or toddler age. So if you have bad dreams of looking after a hurting, red baby, rest slightly assured that it is very rare.

For me personally, nobody in my immediate family has psoriasis. My siblings don’t have it, my Mum doesn’t have it, the grandparents don’t have it. Just flaky old me; and this just goes to show that while inheritance does play a part, its by no means the overriding factor.

So go off and start baby-making!

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About the Author

I'm just an average 28 year old living with psoriasis. Over the last decade, I've tried everything, from real snake poison to rubbing banana peels over my body. I've finally found an approach that's working for me, and I'm sharing it with all the flakers out there. But Psoriasis Blob is not about one man, it's a growing community of great, red people.


One Response to Is Psoriasis Hereditary?

  1. I was 7 years old when I first developed psoriasis on my elbows. This was around 1980 when the big HIV epidemic was really being noticed. My childhood after that was a bumpy ride. I struggle all the time with keeping my skin clear. Now I just accept that no matter what they give me I will eventually go immune to it and the flare up comes right back. I’m over 40 now and still broke out all over my body. I have 2 gorgeous young adult daughters who worry all the time that they or their children will end up developing this wonderful nuisance. Thank you for this article, maybe there is hope for them and my future grandkids.

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