Psoriasis

Soothing relief for red, itchy skin flare ups

Psoriasis is a common, chronic skin condition that appears as red patches covered by silvery scales. As an autoimmune disorder, psoriasis spreads when the immune system becomes too active.

Psoriasis is a genetic disorder, meaning it is passed down in families. It is not contagious.

If you have psoriasis, your immune system overreacts to certain situations, such as infection, dry skin or other triggers. The skin cells in certain parts of your body then begin to multiply rapidly, causing the red scales called plaques. The most common places plaques appear include the back, on the knees and on the scalp. In some cases, the plaques may be itchy.

Psoriasis can go into remission, becoming inactive. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of those with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis, which causes swelling and pain in the joints.

Overview

Psoriasis is a genetic disorder, meaning it is passed down in families. It is not contagious.

If you have psoriasis, your immune system overreacts to certain situations, such as infection, dry skin or other triggers. The skin cells in certain parts of your body then begin to multiply rapidly, causing the red scales called plaques. The most common places plaques appear include the back, on the knees and on the scalp. In some cases, the plaques may be itchy.

Psoriasis can go into remission, becoming inactive. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of those with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis, which causes swelling and pain in the joints.

Your physician will examine your skin in order to determine if you have psoriasis. Sometimes a biopsy (small sample of tissue) needs to be taken to confirm or rule out psoriasis.

Diagnosis

Your physician will examine your skin in order to determine if you have psoriasis. Sometimes a biopsy (small sample of tissue) needs to be taken to confirm or rule out psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune skin disease that is controllable, but not curable. Treatments for psoriasis vary according to the seriousness of your condition and may include:

Bath Oils and Solutions

Bath products such as Epsom salts and colloidal oatmeal can soothe itching. Moisturizers after your bath help, too.

Lubricants

Thick lotions seal moisture inside the skin, helping to reduce redness and itching, and slowly diminish plaques.

Salicylic Acid

This topical drug causes the outer layer of the skin to shed. As a result, plaques peel and become thinner.

Corticosteroids

These drugs reduce inflammation and can be an effective treatment for psoriasis. Corticosteroids can produce side effects, however, so they should not be used for long periods of time.

Ultraviolet (UV) Light Therapy

Careful use of ultraviolet (UV) light through light therapy can reduce the size of plaques.

Methotrexate

This drug suppresses the immune system and slows the production of skin cells. It’s important to know that suppression of the immune system may leave you vulnerable to infections your body could normally resist.

Cyclosporine

This drug is also an immune system suppressant. It can cause kidney problems and high blood pressure.

Biologics

This class of drugs affect specific aspects of the immune system. You must be monitored closely while using these drugs because they can result in cancer and serious disorders of the nervous system and blood.

Part of your treatment also includes learning and adapting to new routines that help control the plaques. Psoriasis is not curable, but our treatments can help you minimize its effects on your life.

Treatment

Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune skin disease that is controllable, but not curable. Treatments for psoriasis vary according to the seriousness of your condition and may include:

Bath Oils and Solutions

Bath products such as Epsom salts and colloidal oatmeal can soothe itching. Moisturizers after your bath help, too.

Lubricants

Thick lotions seal moisture inside the skin, helping to reduce redness and itching, and slowly diminish plaques.

Salicylic Acid

This topical drug causes the outer layer of the skin to shed. As a result, plaques peel and become thinner.

Corticosteroids

These drugs reduce inflammation and can be an effective treatment for psoriasis. Corticosteroids can produce side effects, however, so they should not be used for long periods of time.

Ultraviolet (UV) Light Therapy

Careful use of ultraviolet (UV) light through light therapy can reduce the size of plaques.

Methotrexate

This drug suppresses the immune system and slows the production of skin cells. It’s important to know that suppression of the immune system may leave you vulnerable to infections your body could normally resist.

Cyclosporine

This drug is also an immune system suppressant. It can cause kidney problems and high blood pressure.

Biologics

This class of drugs affect specific aspects of the immune system. You must be monitored closely while using these drugs because they can result in cancer and serious disorders of the nervous system and blood.

Part of your treatment also includes learning and adapting to new routines that help control the plaques. Psoriasis is not curable, but our treatments can help you minimize its effects on your life.

Patient Stories for Psoriasis

National Psoriasis Foundation

This website contains information about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. There are also updates on current research and a database of clinical trials.

Resources

National Psoriasis Foundation

This website contains information about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. There are also updates on current research and a database of clinical trials.