What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an auto-immune, common skin problem. It causes a thick, rough, dry buildup of the outer layer of the skin. The thick areas of skin are called plaques, which can develop anywhere on the skin, especially on the scalp, elbows, and knees. Often the skin under the plaques is slightly red. It is not contagious.
Psoriasis is a chronic disease, which means you will likely have it your whole life. The extent and severity of the disease vary widely. Treatment, however, can help stop the problem from becoming more severe and with recent advances in treatments, you may be able to be 100% clear and controlled!
How does it occur?
When you have psoriasis, your outer layer of skin makes new cells more rapidly than normal. The extra cells become thick plaques. Psoriasis may be inherited. You are more likely to have psoriasis if members of your family have it.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms are rough, dry, thick areas of skin. The skin may itch, especially on the scalp. Psoriasis can affect your fingernails and toenails, causing them to have pits or dents in them. In severe cases the nails become thick and misshapen. About 20-30% of psoriasis patients also have arthritis or joint pain. The symptoms of psoriasis can vary from mild to severe. Psoriasis flares have been shown to be related to smoking, stress, obesity and excessive alcohol consumption. The severity of the symptoms may also depend on the season of the year. Psoriasis usually gets better when you spend more time in the sunlight.
How is it diagnosed?
Your health care provider examines your skin and nails. If your provider needs more information, she or he may do a skin biopsy. The biopsy is done by removing a small sample of skin after the area has been numbed.
How is it treated?
Your treatment depends on your symptoms. A variety of medicines are available, some which can clear you of your disease by >90%. Steroid creams and ointments of different types and strengths are most frequently used on limited areas. If your body surface area involvement is more extensive, you have psoriasis in a sensitive location or have itching, then Biologic medications (eg, Cosentyx, Skyrizi, Humira, etc) are the preferred treatment. Other medicines are:
– salicylic acid creams and ointments
– tar preparations (commonly ointments)
– topical retinoids
– vitamin-D-like cream or ointment (calcipotriene).
What can I do to prevent psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory disease and unfortunately there is no cure. Luckily, there are many great treatment options that you can discuss with your dermatologist. Minimizing alcohol consumption, smoking, stress and avoiding obesity can also help.
Modern Dermatology requires a 48-hour notice of any changes or cancellation of any medical appointments. If you reschedule, no show or cancel your appointment within 48 hours, you will be required to pay $50.00. If a third late cancellation, reschedule or no show should occur, within the same calendar year, you will either be discharged from the practice or the cancellation fee will increase to $150.00. This amount is due before scheduling any future appointments.
*This policy is subject to change without prior notice.
Modern Dermatology requires a 48-hour notice of any changes or cancellation of any medical appointments. If a new patient reschedules, no shows or cancels their appointment within 48 hours more than twice, no future appointments will be scheduled.