Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system is fighting with the body’s skin cells. Psoriasis affects about 3% of the population where 1/3 of cases start in childhood but a majority develop in a person’s 20’s or 30’s.

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Red, scaly patches (generally found outside of the elbows, on the front of the knees and the scalp) 

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In some cases joints are also affected and can get puffy, swollen or ache

Treatment includes but not limited to:

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Topical  treatment (Steroids, Topical Vitamin D)

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Orals (Oral Steroids or prescription antihistamines)

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A board-certified Dermatologist is a medical doctor (MD or DO) that has completed 4 years of medical school as well as 1 year of internship and a minimum of 3 years of dermatology residency. They are the experts in over 3,000 conditions affecting hair, skin, and nails. They can see patients of all ages and are able to address medical, surgical, and cosmetic concerns.

Most people see a Dermatologist once yearly for an overall skin check. If there is a personal or family history of skin cancers, abnormal moles, or other conditions such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis, the frequency of visits can be increased.

Dermatologists recommend performing a once-monthly self-skin examination to check for new or changing spots. You should examine all aspects of your skin, using mirrors or a partner as needed. Do not forget to try to examine your scalp, look between fingers and toes, check the bottoms of your feet, and examine the groin area. Please have any new or changing lesions examined by a Dermatologist to determine if any treatments are needed.

UV damage is the biggest skin aging culprit. Daily sun protection measures (even in the winter) is the best preventative step. Avoiding smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, other drugs, staying hydrated, and eating a well-balanced diet can all have positive anti-aging effects as well.

Topical vitamin A products (retinols, retinoids) are the overall most effective topicals for addressing skin aging concerns such as loss of elasticity, fine lines, skin texture changes, and dyspigmentation. There are various over-the-counter products and prescription products that contain these active ingredients. People with very sensitive skin can sometimes have a more difficult time tolerating these topicals as they can be irritating to the skin.

The inflammation caused by psoriasis can affect other aspects of health, not just skin and joints. Commonly associated health conditions include: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, and anxiety.

While we have no “cure” for psoriasis, we have many available treatment options and, for many patients, we can achieve clear or nearly clear skin if treatments are continued.Our goals are to make it appear as if you do not have psoriasis.

Treatments for psoriasis vary from topical treatments with topical steroids, non-steroid anti-inflammatories, and vitamin D products, to oral medications that control inflammation and injectable medications. Therapies such as steroid injections into skin lesions and phototherapy (light therapy) can be used to treat psoriasis. Commonly, a combination of treatments may be needed to get adequate response, it is best to discuss treatment options with a board-certified dermatologist to determine what is best for you.

Psoriasis does have a genetic component. In the general population, psoriasis is present in about 2-3% of the population worldwide. There are variations in rate of psoriasis based on ethnicity. If a child has 1 parent with a history of psoriasis, they have about a 10% chance of developing psoriasis. If both parents have psoriasis, there is about a 50% chance of a child developing psoriasis. There are different gene variations that can significantly increase risk for psoriasis.

The extensor surfaces of the skin are most commonly involved with psoriasis. This includes the elbows and knees. Other areas that are commonly involved include the scalp, belly button, lower back/upper gluteal cleft, knuckles, genitals, and nails. Psoriasis can develop anywhere on the skin and can look different depending on the areas of skin that are involved. Not all psoriasis looks like red, scaly plaques.

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