In psoriasis the skin cells multiply at a rate approximately 1000 times faster than normal, healthy cells.
There is no corresponding increase in the rate at which cells are shed, causing a build-up which appears silvery and raised. The underlying issue may be related to an imbalance in two compounds that governs the rate at which cells multiply and are sloughed off, called cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and cyclic guanidine monophosphate (cGMP).
Hereditary factors are known to be involved in psoriasis, and there is a strong tendency for the condition to run in families. It is not contagious.
Possible triggers for psoriasis attacks include stress, shock, infection, and excessive alcohol intake.
From a naturopathic perspective, other factors that may contribute include immune dysfunction, poor bowel function, sluggish liver function, and an inability to completely digest proteins.
An imbalance of essential fatty acids (for example, high consumption of saturated animal fats ) has also been implicated.