To say that I’m clumsy would be an understatement. I’m constantly knocking into things, tripping, dropping everything and getting hurt in the oddest of ways. Recently within 24 hours I got a welt on my shin from walking into the elliptical at the gym, got my watch stuck on the door at work giving me a deep cut on the wrist, then finished it off by slicing my finger opening a bottle of chateauneuf du pape.
The bruises are a pain in the booty, but luckily I’ve become a pro at applying leg makeup quickly on skirt days. But usually when the cuts heal they turn into psoriasis spots.
According to the NPF “minor skin traumas can trigger what’s called the Koebner’s phenomenon — psoriasis plaques that form at the site of a skin injury.” Koebner usually occurs within one to two weeks of injury to the dermis but can appear as early as three days or as late as three weeks from the trauma. Dr. Heinrich Koebner, a German dermatologist noticed the phenomenon in the 19th century when a patient developed new lesions in areas where his horse bit him. As I began researching this phenomenon, I learned that a lot of the research out there doesn’t explain why this happens. Phenomenon is a defined as a fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen – so during the 19th century this name made a lot of sense.
Further reading explains that “It has been postulated that the local trauma may be exposing the surface receptors on the keratinocytes to activated T lymphocytes and other cytokines like TNF-α and triggering the immunological and inflammatory cascade resulting in psoriatic lesions in the injured skin.”
So between us, I have no idea what that means. It’s one of those sentences that I could read 157 times and still not get. I wish I could understand some of the things happening to my skin so that I could break it down and explain, but this is one of those things that I’m just going to accept just happens sometimes. I’ll take it as a phenomenon.
The common triggers that can cause the Koebner phenomenon include:
- Bug Bites
- Bruises and scrapes
- Poison ivy or poison oak
- Burns, including chemical burns and sunburn
Now that summer is here, be careful of those things. And in my case, I just need to be more careful walking around the office, my apartment and just in general.