Psoriasis is a chronic or long lasting disease. Psoriasis develops when a person's immune system sends faulty signals that tell skin cells to grow too quickly. New skin cells form in days rather than weeks. People who get psoriasis usually have one or more person in their family who has psoriasis. People with psoriasis suffer from red, thickened areas of skin with silvery scales. This persistent skin condition is found most often on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back, but can cover larger areas of the body in severe cases.
Psoriasis can be a difficult disease to treat, leaving many patients frustrated. At Dermatology Associates of Wisconsin, we take an aggressive approach to help clear the plaques of psoriasis quickly, and also to effectively control the disease long term. In addition to traditional topical treatments, Phototherapy, Excimer Laser, Biologic Treatments and Remicaid Infusion treatments are available at Dermatology Associates of Wisconsin.
Treatment Options (not limited to):
Corticosteroids are the most frequently used treatment for psoriasis. They are referred to as anti-inflammatory agents, because they reduce the swelling and redness of lesions. Anthralin, synthetic Vitamin D3, and Vitamin A are also used in prescription topical treatments to control psoriasis lesions. These topicals slow down excessive cell reproduction and reduce the inflammation associated with psoriasis.
+Photo Therapy (Light Therapy)
Ultraviolet (UV) light, which is found in sunlight, slows the rapid growth of skin cells. Under a dermatologist's care, light therapy offers patients a safe and effective treatment option.
Ultraviolet B (UVB) light therapy is an effective treatment for psoriasis. UVB penetrates the skin and slows the growth of affected skin cells. Treatment involves exposing the skin to an artificial UVB light source for a set length of time on a regular schedule.
Psoralen + Ulatraviolet A (PUVA) light therapy is like UVB, in which ultraviolet light A (UVA) is present in sunlight. However, unlike UVB, UVA is relatively ineffective unless used with a light-sensitizing medication psoralen, which is administered topically or orally. This treatment, called PUVA, slows down excessive skin cell growth and can clear psoriasis symptoms for varying periods of time.
Biologics are a relatively new class of treatment for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis treatments. They are given by injection or intravenous (IV) infusion.
Enbrel is used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in adults and children. The medicine is also used to treat psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriasis. The medicine is given by injection under the skin. Your dermatologist will instruct you on how to prepare and properly give this medicine.
Stelara is a prescription medicine that is approved to treat adults 18 years and older with moderate or severe plaque psoriasis that involves large areas or many areas of their body, who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or phototherapy (treatment using ultraviolet light alone or with pills).
Humira has been proven effective in fighting the symptoms of moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis. For many people with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis, clearer skin is possible with humira. In fact, in clinical trials, most adults saw 75% skin clearance, and the majority of people were clear or almost clear in just 4 months. Individual results may vary.
Remicade is given through IV infusion in our dermatologist's office. Remicade is prescribed for individuals with moderate to severe cases of plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. This is a viable option for those who have not responded to or have experienced harmful side effects from other treatment options.
Methotrexate is an immunosuppressive drug that binds to and inhibits an enzyme involved in the rapid growth of skin cells and slows down the cells growth rate. Methotrexate is highly effective in reducing the painful symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Patients taking methotrexate must have regular blood tests to make sure that the drug is safely processed by the body including the liver, white blood cells and bone marrow.
Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressive drug approved by the FDA for adults with severe psoriasis. Cyclosporine suppresses the immune system and slows down the growth of certain immune cells. Cyclosporine taken on a consistent schedule can provide fast relief from symptoms of psoriasis. Guidelines of treatment should be monitored by a dermatologist or physician.
An oral retinoid may be prescribed for severe cases of psoriasis. There are several side effects of oral retinoids, such as dryness of the skin, and elevations in cholesterol and triglycerides. Oral retinoids can also cause birth defects and should not be used by pregnant women, or women who intend to become pregnant. Patients taking oral retinoids must be closely monitored by a dermatologist and require regular blood tests.
Soriatane is an oral retinoid, which is a synthetic form of vitamin A. Acitretin is the only oral retinoid approved by the FDA specifically for treating psoriasis. Soriatane tends to work slowly for plaque psoriasis and takes months before seeing results. Psoriasis may also worsen before individuals start to see clearing. Patients must follow treatment guidelines to avoid possible health risks and for optimal results.
Moisturizers should be used liberally and frequently to the entire body (2 to 3 times per day). They should be applied immediately after bathing or showering to "seal in" the water (within 2 to 3 minutes). Keeping the skin moist helps to prevent the dryness and prevent flares of atopic dermatitis. As a general rule, the greasier they are, the better they work. Examples of good moisturizers are Cetaphil Restoraderm lotion, Cerave cream, Vanicream, and plain Vaseline petroleum jelly.