Clinical Dermatology

Psoriasis Treatment

Psoriasis has undergone a treatment revolution. Can the new science benefit you?

Psoriasis Treatment

Psoriasis is a part of the human condition that has been described by civilization for millennia; it is referred to as ‘leprosy’ in the Bible. While the most visible and bothersome effects of psoriasis are usually skin related, psoriasis is actually best thought of not as a skin disease but rather as an inflammatory immune system disorder. Psoriasis affects the skin, joints, nails, hair-bearing areas, and cardiovascular system. Psoriasis is partly genetic and partly environmental. Today, psoriasis is more treatable than ever before.

In the United States, about 7.5 million people have psoriasis. - American Academy of Dermatology

Treatment of psoriasis has undergone a major revolution in the past twenty years. Newer treatments are quick and easy to administer. Older treatments (which are less commonly used today) are often time intensive and sometimes unpleasant including, for example, extensive coal tar application. Most importantly, newer psoriasis treatments are safer and more effective than any of the treatment options available twenty years ago.

Psoriasis can be treated in four main ways. Topical products can be applied to affected areas to help control localized flare-ups. Ultraviolet light can be delivered to the entire skin surface or the hands and feet selectively to control extensive areas of flare-up. Oral medications can also be taken to help control psoriasis. Methotrexate is the most popular oral medicine. Biologic therapy is the newest class of psoriasis treatment. Biologic agents consist of protein compounds or antibodies that alter immune function to control psoriasis. Biologic agents are generally considered the safest and most effective psoriasis therapies invented.

Determining the best psoriasis treatment options for an individual patient is part science, part art. The specifics of the condition, the patient’s overall life situation and the patient’s treatment preferences all play a role. Redding Derm knows psoriasis and is ready to help.