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What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease that causes itchy, raised, scaly patches on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms and soles, but can also affect other places (fingernails, toenails, and mouth). The most common type of psoriasis is called plaque psoriasis. The inflammation is systemic, associated with metabolic and other internal conditions, and many people also have arthritis due to psoriasis. As with other skin conditions, there is a genetic propensity, but diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors play an important role.
There are excellent treatments for psoriasis, with many new options recently approved. Treatments include topicals, orals, and injections. We also provide our updated Diet and Lifestyle Guidelines pdf with useful recommendations for all initial psoriasis consultations.
Several topical options are available to safely and effectively control localized psoriasis plaques, including:
Oral treatments are more effective and can treat more wide-spread disease than topicals, but have a higher chance for side-effects and may require blood test monitoring. The currently preferred oral treatments for psoriasis are:
Another option for more severe psoriasis that cannot be controlled by topicals is with biological medications. They are also very effective, but can also have more side-effects, including infections and possibly some tumors, and require periodic blood test monitoring. They are usually self-administered injections, every 2 weeks - 3 months, depending on the medication, using a pen-like injector that even needle-averse patients can perform. The most commonly used biologics are:
We have expertise in using topicals, orals and biologics for psoriasis, and for selecting patient-centered options to maximize effectiveness while minimizing side-effects.
Access Dermatology LLC
New Jersey, United States