What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a very common skin condition affecting approximately 3-5% of the world’s population. The lesions are thick, red, scaly and unsightly. The condition can involve the entire skin surface including the scalp, nails and genitalia. The most severe form is pustular psoriasis that is painful and debilitating. 25-30% of psoriasis sufferers develop an associated arthritis called psoriatic arthritis.
What causes psoriasis?
The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but it is believed that multiple factors contribute to the condition. Changes in the immune system lead to rapid overgrowth of skin cells which build-up on the skin’s surface. There is certainly a genetic component, since psoriasis tends to occur in members of the same family. It is not contagious and cannot be passed from person to person. Strep infections, medications and emotional stress have proven to lead to psoriasis flares.
The good news is that there are many, very effective treatment options for psoriasis. We at Porter Premiere Dermatology will design an individualized treatment protocol to address the patient’s needs. Mild cases typically respond to topical steroids and vitamin D derivative (Dovonex). Dr. Porter has extensive experience in treating psoriasis with the new biologic therapies Enbrel (etanercept), Humira (adalimumab), Amevive (alefacept) and Stelara (Ustekinumab). We also utilize phototherapy (narrow-band UVB) and traditional systemic treatments ( methotrexate, Soriatane, and cyclosporine). We look forward to sharing our expertise with you and helping you to achieve clearer skin.