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What causes skin sarcoidosis?

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Quick Answer

As of 2015, the exact causes and triggers of skin sarcoidosis are unknown, according to Mayo Clinic. Doctors report that some patients are more susceptible to developing the condition if they have a family history of sarcoidosis. The condition can also be triggered by exposure to certain viruses, chemicals, bacteria or dust.

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As of 2015, research is being conducted to determine the genes that cause skin sarcoidosis, reports Mayo Clinic. When foreign objects or invading substances attack the body, the immune system helps protect it; however, patients with sarcoidosis have immune cells that build up and result in inflammation of the cells called granulomas. When granulomas collect in a certain organ, it can impair the organ's normal function. These growths can occur in different parts of the body, but they often appear on the skin, lungs, eyes and lymph nodes.

While the exact cause of skin sarcoidosis is unknown, there are possible risk factors, according to Healthline. These risk factors include being female, being of African-American descent, having a previous infection or having a low tolerance for environmental factors. Sarcoidosis is rarely found in children, and symptoms usually present themselves when a patient is between the ages of 20 and 40.

Sarcoidosis, originally called Boeck's disease or Hutchinson's disease, is a combination of the Greek words "sark" and "oid," which mean "flesh-like," reports MedicineNet. It refers to the skin eruptions that often accompany the condition.

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