Research has long established that psoriasis increases the risk of developing diabetes, but the exact nature of the link has been a mystery.
Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin condition, affecting an estimated 2.2 percent of people in the United States.
For decades, we have known that psoriasis increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, the exact nature of this connection is unclear.
Recently, researchers from King’s College London in the United Kingdom designed a series of experiments to gain insight into the link.
Lead author Elizabeth Evans presented their findings at a recent annual conference of the Society for Endocrinology, in Glasgow, U.K.
Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the U.S.
Currently, medicines can address symptoms, but because there is no cure, treatment tends to continue throughout an individual’s life.
In people with psoriasis, skin cells are replaced too quickly.
Usually, it takes 3–4 weeks to develop cells in the deeper layers of skin. As they mature, they slowly rise to the surface.
However, psoriasis causes immature skin cells to reach the surface in less than 1 week, after which they die and flake off. This leads to red, itchy patches of skin.
The team from King’s College studied human and animal skin samples, looking for any molecular alterations associated with psoriasis that might induce diabetes.
They used an experimental model of psoriasis created by applying imiquimod — an immune response modifier — to mouse and human skin.
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