Psoriasis is a term that encompasses a group of chronic skin disorders that affect any part of the body from the scalp to the toenails, but most frequently affect the scalp, elbows, knees, hands, feet and genitals. Over seven million men and women in the U.S. of all ages have some form of psoriasis, which may be mild, moderate or severe. In addition, it may be categorized into different types: plaque, pustular, erythrodermic, guttate or inverse psoriasis. Most forms involve an itching and/or burning sensation, scaling and crusting of the skin.Type-specific symptoms include:
- Plaque psoriasis (the most common type): raised, thickened patches of red skin covered with silvery-white scales;
- Pustular psoriasis: pus-like blisters;
- Erythrodermic psoriasis: intense redness and swelling of a large part of the skin surface;
- Guttate psoriasis: small, drop-like lesions;
- Inverse psoriasis: smooth red lesions in the folds of the skin.
While the cause of psoriasis has yet to be discovered, suspected triggers include emotional stress, skin injury, systemic infections and certain medications. There is a possibility that susceptibility to psoriasis is inherited.
Normally the outer layer of skin, which consists of keratinocytes, is replaced unnoticeably, about once a month. This process is faster in people with psoriasis; keratinocytes reach the skin surface too quickly, before they can be properly incorporated into surrounding tissue or even before they are fully mature. As a result, the skin flakes off. This sped-up process is called parakeratosis.
Latest Biologic Treatments for Psoriasis
More than 4 million Americans live with the discomfort of psoriasis, a condition in which skin cells grow faster than they are shed, resulting in itchy, thick, scaly or discolored patches. There is no cure for psoriasis at this time, but we are learning more about what causes it. At South Nassau Dermatology we are proud to offer one of the newest and most promising treatment methods: biologic therapy. Biologic treatments, or "biologics," target cells in the immune system (called T-cells) which produce chemical signals (called cytokines) that "tell" the skin to grow too quickly. Biologics block the production of T-cells so those signals aren't sent, resulting in an improvement in psoriasis symptoms.
We offer FDA-approved biologic treatments called Enbrel, Amevive, Humira, and Stelara™. Patients give themselves an injection at home once or twice a week. Results are usually seen within the first six weeks, with significant improvement by two to three months.
Latest Laser Treatment for Psoriasis
We now offer the Pharos Excimer Laser. The Excimer laser creates a concentrated, beam of ultraviolet light that is delivered to lesions through a hand piece that rests directly on the skin. By precisely targeting only active lesions without exposing healthy skin, the laser safely delivers high-dose psoriasis treatment for fast clearing and long remission.