Familial psoriasis (PSORS2), is a specific form of psoriasis that is caused by a change (mutation) in the CARD14 gene and usually affects more than one person in a family. Psoriasis is a long-lasting (chronic) skin condition that causes cells to grow too quickly, resulting in red, scaly, itchy patches on the skin. In normal skin, cells flake off from the surface and are replaced by new cells every four weeks. In people with psoriasis, new cells form and quickly move to the surface of the skin, forming thick patches (plaques) that typically appear on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, hands, or feet. These patches are usually dry and itchy. In some cases, the areas where bones meet (joints) may also become swollen and stiff, which is called psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriasis is thought to be an autoimmune disease, which is a disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own cells and tissues. Both environmental and genetic factors likely play a role in all forms of psoriasis. However, it is thought that genetic mutations play a stronger role in familial forms of psoriasis. Mutations in the CARD14 gene have been found to be the cause for most cases of PSORS2. This gene provides instructions for the body to make a protein that helps control the body’s immune system. Having a mutation in this gene can lead to overreaction of the immune system, which is the cause of the psoriasis in PSORS2.
Psoriasis is usually diagnosed when a doctor examines the skin. The doctor may also remove and examine a small piece of the affected skin (skin biopsy). There is no cure for psoriasis but there are many treatment options that may help control the symptoms. These include creams that can be applied to the surface of the skin (topical), oral medications, moisturizers, and light therapy. If you have been diagnosed with psoriasis, talk with your doctor about all treatment options. Support groups can provide more information.