How Can I Treat Psoriasis in NYC?

Psoriasis is a very common, chronic skin disorder, most commonly described as looking like a plaque or patch with a silvery scale. Psoriasis is caused by defective signals involved in skin cell growth, causing the cells to build up rapidly onto the surface of the skin. This “piling up” of skin cells forms thick, silvery scales, and itchy, dry patches and plaques that can be painful in some cases. The appearance of psoriasis can cause significant emotional stress for those suffering from the skin disorder.

The exact cause of psoriasis is unclear, but it has been linked to an immune system problem with a white blood cell called T lymphocyte. These T cells travel throughout the body fighting off foreign substances, such as viruses or bacteria. But in the case of psoriasis, the T cells mistakenly attack healthy skin cells. As a result, the body increases the productive of healthy skin cells, causing an ongoing cycle that creates new skin cells too quickly. The dead skin doesn’t shed quickly enough and piles up to form its characteristics thick, scaly patches.

Causes and Symptoms of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is not contagious and cannot be spread by skin contact. However it is a chronic, long-lasting condition with a genetic root, increasing the risk of development for those with a family history of the disease. It may be triggered or worsened by certain factors, such as strep throat, HIV infection, certain medications, areas of physical trauma, severe sunburn, cuts, scrapes, bug bites, stress, cold weather, smoking, or heavy alcohol consumption.

Psoriasis is most frequently seen on the head, groin, elbows, and knees, but can be located anywhere on the body. Nails and joints may also be affected. Without treatment intervention, symptoms can advance to debilitating levels, causing joints to become malformed to the extent that they can limit movement and cause significant pain.

Types of Psoriasis

  • Plaque Psoriasis: This is the most common form of psoriasis, affecting 80 percent of those with the diagnosis. Plaque psoriasis appears in thick, red patches of skin that are often covered in silver or white layers of scales develop on the elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp.
  • Guttate Psoriasis: As the second most common form of psoriasis, this form appears as small red spots on the skin across the torso, limbs, face, and scalp. Although it is usually not as thick as plaque psoriasis, if left untreated it may progress to develop the characteristic thick, red and scaly patches.
  • Pustular Psoriasis: White pustules surrounded by red skin develop along isolated areas of the body, most commonly the hands and feet. When pus develops inside the blisters, the condition requires medical attention. Scaling may also occur with some people experiencing cycles of remission.
  • Inverse Psoriasis: A very red, often shiny and smooth form of psoriasis appears in skinfolds under the breast, in the armpits, or the groin area. Skin-to-skin contact can be very irritating. Most people suffering from this form of psoriasis have a different form of psoriasis in other places on their body.
  • Ertythrodremic Psoriasis: This is the rarest form of psoriasis, and often covers large portions of the body. It resembles severe burns to the skin and can develop along with pustular psoriasis when left untreated and can be very painful.

There are many treatment options for psoriasis, including topical medications, phototherapy, and systemic therapy. Treatment can minimize the plaques, boost self-esteem, and greatly improve well-being. In some patients, treatment completely clears their skin of any plaques. Psoriasis cannot be cured, but it can be successfully managed. Psoriasis symptoms and severity vary per patient. Call to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rokhsar to design a customized treatment plan.