Psoriasis is a common chronic skin condition. While there are a variety of treatments, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Many patients have tried various creams and ointments and older non-specific immunosuppressive drugs. Recent advances in technology have expanded treatments to psoriasis patients with mild, moderate, and even severe disease.
At HMGS Dermatology, we can help you find the right psoriasis treatment for you and get you the relief you’ve been looking for.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a persistent, immune-driven skin condition characterized by the rapid buildup of skin cells. It affects the skin’s life cycle, causing cells to quickly accumulate on the skin’s surface. These extra cells can form thick, red plaques with silvery scales, which can be itchy, painful, and emotionally draining. Sometimes psoriasis impacts sensitive skin sites. Other times it can affect the entire skin surface.
Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis
While psoriasis is well-known for red/pink, scaly skin patches, it can actually come in a variety of presentations, including:
The affected skin areas typically appear salmon pink or red, with thick, silvery scales covering raised plaques. These can vary in size and shape. Typical sites include the scalp, elbows, knees, and buttocks. However, really any skin site can be impacted.
Typical symptoms include itching and flaking skin. The excessive accumulation of skin cells can cause the affected skin to become dry and prone to cracking, which may lead to pain and bleeding in severe cases.
This type of psoriasis can come on very quickly and can be associated with strep throat. The spots are often numerous and small. Children and young adults are more often affected.
This type can be localized to the palms and soles (palmoplantar pustulosis) or be generalized and involve most of the body’s surface area. Tiny white pustules are the hallmark of this variant.
Psoriasis can also impact your toenails and fingernails, causing pitting (minor dents), thickening, discoloration (oil spots), and nails separating from the nail bed (onycholysis).
Sometimes, psoriasis can also be associated with joint inflammation, called psoriatic arthritis. Up to 30% of patients with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. This can result in joint swelling, joint pain, and morning stiffness and may eventually lead to permanent joint damage. Risk factors for developing psoriatic arthritis include the presence of nail psoriasis, scalp psoriasis, and more severe disease,
Some individuals with psoriasis may also experience new plaques forming at the site of skin injuries, such as scratches, cuts, burns, or surgical scars.
Psoriasis vs. Eczema
Many patients confuse psoriasis for eczema and vice versa. While both of these diseases are the result of immune system alterations, they are caused by different cell types and different cell chemicals.
Eczema (aka Atopic Dermatitis) often appears in different locations and earlier in life (since infancy) compared to psoriasis. Typically, eczema results in a more intense itch and more often ooze. Eczema is more likely to get infected as well.
How Can HMGS Dermatology Help Your Psoriasis
At HMGS Dermatology, we are committed to providing specialized care for psoriasis. With our team of experienced dermatologists and advanced treatment options, we aim to provide relief from itching, pain, and discomfort associated with psoriasis.
Some of the common psoriasis therapies that we offer at HMGS Dermatology include:
Newer oral therapies have revolutionized the way we treat psoriasis. We utilize Otezla and Sotyktu for those patients who have tried topical therapies without success. Even older treatments such as methotrexate, acitretin, and cyclosporine have roles in certain situations.
These are game-changers for many of our patients with moderate to severe psoriasis. These drugs work internally to target the immune system and reduce inflammation. At HMGS Dermatology, we utilize all the latest injectable biologic drugs for psoriasis. These include Skyrizi, Cosentyx, Taltz, Tremfya, Ilumya, Stelara, Humira, Cimzia, Enbrel, Siliq, Spevigo, and Remicade. Many of these medications also treat psoriatic arthritis!
HMGS Dermatology also offers phototherapy treatments in the form of the XTRAC laser, whole body narrow-band UVB therapy (NBUVB), hand and foot-directed UVB therapy, and PUVA therapy. These treatments are performed regularly at our office and are painless and needle-free. Phototherapy is a great option for patients with guttate psoriasis. Our office is one of the few phototherapy centers in New Jersey.
We also prescribe a vast array of topical therapies. These range from newer creams such as Vtama and Zoryve to topical corticosteroids, Vitamin D analogs, and retinoids. They are applied directly to the affected skin and are typically the primary line of treatment for mild to moderate psoriasis. They can help reduce inflammation, itching, and scaling.
Schedule A Consultation
Don’t let psoriasis control your life. Take charge and schedule a consultation with HMGS Dermatology today! One of our expert professionals will examine your skin, address your questions and concerns, and build a customized treatment plan for you.
To schedule a consultation today, call our Marlton, Camden, or Hammonton, NJ office, or use our online scheduling form.