How does the Orlando Dermatology Center define & treat Psoriasis?
Psoriasis in an inherited condition of the skin, joints, and immune system that results in the development of red scaly skin lesions that most commonly affect the elbows, knees, and scalp, but any part of the body can be affected. Psoriasis treatments are many and there is a lot of support for psoriasis patients. Unique forms of psoriasis include palm and sole psoriasis; inverse psoriasis in which the armpits and groin are affected; pustular psoriasis characterized by disseminated pustules on the body or localized pustules to the palms and soles; erythrodermic psoriasis in which the entire skin surface is red, inflamed, and scaly; and guttate psoriasis which is characterized by widespread small scaling lesions. Nail involvement is common, and psoriasis can affect the joints causing a condition known as psoriatic arthritis.
What Causes Psoriasis?
A combination of genetic factors, together with environmental factors contribute to the development of psoriasis. Even though many patients do not have a family history of the disease, they have inherited a combination of genes that makes them susceptible to developing psoriasis. Factors such as absence of sunlight, certain medications such as lithium, antimalarial drugs, interferon, beta blockers(e.g. propranolol), and the discontinuation of systemic steroids can result in psoriasis in susceptible individuals. Infections such as strep throat are well known triggers of psoriasis. Psoriasis can also arise in skin that is irritated. The development of psoriasis in surgical scars is known as the Koebner phenomenon.
Can Psoriasis be Cured?
Because we do not yet have effective gene therapy, we do not have a permanent cure for psoriasis, but we have many excellent psoriasis treatments. For patients with limited disease, topical therapy is often enough. When topical therapy isn’t adequate, intralesional injections of steroids can be administered to isolated plaques of psoriasis or the excimer laser can be used.