Psoriasis is a common, non-contagious, immunologic skin disease that affects as many as 7.5 million Americans annually. It appears between the ages of 15 and 35 but can develop at any age. Psoriasis is a genetic disease that runs in the family. It is a lifelong disease that shows flares and remissions. Triggers include emotional stress, injury to the skin, infections, dry weather, and certain drugs. The most common type of psoriasis appears as raised red patches or thick lesions covered with a silvery scale (buildup of dead skin cells). The most commonly affected skin areas are the elbows, knees, shins, back, buttocks and scalp. Nails can also be affected. Intense redness over large areas may develop. Other types of psoriasis may present with small red spots or pustules. The groin, armpits or other skin folds can be affected. Psoriatic arthritis occurs in only 10% of cases and makes the disease more debilitating.
There is no permanent cure for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Mild limited psoriasis is treated with topical medications. The most popular approaches for moderate psoriasis include topical medications, ultraviolet light therapy, lasers, and/or systemic medications. Ultraviolet light (narrow band UVB) is administered under medical supervision at GK Dermatology and requires 2 to 3 visits a week.
No single treatment works for everyone, and the regimen is tailored to the history of patient and severity of the disease. Consult Dr. Kroumpouzos for the best advice on helping to control psoriasis.