What is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a common skin disorder affecting about 1 in 40 people. The cause is not known, but

environmental and hereditary factors may play a role. A normal skin cell matures in 28 to 30 days and sheds from the skin. In Psoriasis, skin cells mature in 4 days, and heap up to form silvery scaled lesions. The most commonly involved areas are the scalp, elbows and knees, but any part of the body, including the nails, palms, and soles may be involved. Psoriasis can flare with changes in the weather, stress, smoking, and alcohol.

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for psoriasis. However, our experienced providers can find the right treatment plan for you to help control your psoriasis flares.

How to control Psoriasis flares?

In most cases, psoriasis is mild and limited to a few body areas. For patients with persistent or itchy psoriatic lesions, many topical medications are available, however more severe psoriatic patients often need biologic injectables or oral retinoids.

  • Vitamin D₃ Creams: Cacipotriene or calcipotriol (Vectical) are available by prescription and have been shown to help control psoriasis.

  • Topical Retinoids: Tazarotene (Tazorac) gel is a vitamin A derivative which has been shown to reduce the scaling and redness of psoriasis.

  • Medicated Shampoos: For patients with scalp psoriasis, daily hair washing is helpful. There are 5 types of medicated shampoos which can control the flaking and itching on the scalp: Tar, Salicylic or Glycolic acid, Selenium Sulfide, Zinc Pyrithione and clobetasol.

  • Oral Medications: Oral therapy can be used to control severe psoriasis. Three main Rx medications are used: Acitretin (Soriatane), Methotrexate, and Cyclosporine (Neoral).

  • Biologics: These medications require at home injections for administration and are meant for patients with moderate to severe psoriasis, or those with psoriatic arthritis. Enbrel, Humira, and Stelara are TNF inhibitors. Taltz, Cosentyx, Simponi, and Cimzia decrease other inflammatory mediators of psoriasis.

  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids: This can help to improve psoriatic skin, as well as benefit your overall health. Omega 3’s (fish oil or algae based) help when they are taken daily (2000mg a day).

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for psoriasis, but research has given us some great new treatments to control it. Most patients are able to control their condition and improve their skin.

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