Approximately 7.5 million people in the United States have psoriasis, which is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects mostly the skin and nails but may also involve the joints. The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, which is characterized by red patches on the skin that are covered by a silvery-white scale. These plaques occur commonly on the elbows knees and scalp. Although the cause of psoriasis is not completely understood, it is an inflammatory disease of the immune system and it appears to involve abnormal T cell function. There is a hereditary component to this skin problem and it can also be influenced by environmental factors. Forty percent of the people who have psoriasis may also experience some arthritis associated with it, a condition called psoriatic arthritis.
At Dermatology Services, we offer a variety of treatment options for psoriasis, as what may work for one patient may not work effectively for another. For more limited disease, psoriasis can be treated with prescription creams that are applied topically. Office based treatments are available including phototherapy in our Narrow Band UVB booth for more extensive disease and the Pharos EX-308 Excimer laser for more localized psoriasis plaques. For more severe psoriasis, oral therapies and biologic drugs can be prescribed.