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Psoriasis Treatment

offered in Midtown East and Upper East Side, New York, Commack, Hampton Bays, Plainview and Smithtown, NY and Englewood, Clifton and Marlboro, NJ

Psoriasis Treatment

At MDCS Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, located in Upper East Side, Hampton Bays, Commack, Smithtown, Garden City, Plainview and Midtown East of Manhattan, NY, as well as Clifton, Marlboro and Englewood, NJ, our physicians help remedy chronic skin conditions, including psoriasis and vitiligo. Psoriasis, with its red, itchy skin patches, and vitiligo which causes the appearance of splotchy pigmentation are managed with the most advanced treatment options by MDCS doctors, for patients throughout the greater New York area.

Psoriasis & Vitiligo Treatment Q & A

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What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic disease that develops when the immune system sends faulty signals that instruct skin cells to grow too quickly. These out-of-control skin cells can appear quite rapidly — forming in days rather than weeks. When a patient with psoriasis does not shed these excess cells, and they pile up on the top surface of the skin, patches of the disease appear. It is a genetic condition and cannot be caught through physical contact.

What are the different types of psoriasis?

 This condition falls into five categories:

  • Plaque (psoriasis vulgaris)— An autoimmune disease that results in raised, red, scaly patches on the skin.
  • Inverse (intertriginous psoriasis or flexural psoriasis)—Scaly plaques develop in the folds of a patient’s skin in areas such as under the breasts, buttocks, and groin creases and the axillae. Due to heat and skin friction in these areas, the scales tend to fall off, leaving a smooth red area that has the appearance of scalded skin. 
  • Guttate— More common among young adults and children, guttate psoriasis usually occurs with a sudden onset. This occurs most often after a streptococcal pharyngitis infection and appears as drop-like lesions.
  • Pustular— Generally in the scalp.
  • Erythrodermic (exfoliative psoriasis)— Often occurs after a stressful event, such as fever, infection, or other significant illness.

How is psoriasis treated?

  • Systemic therapies — Oral medications are often prescribed. These require regular monitoring through blood work and sometimes, a liver biopsy. Since the drugs used cause severe birth defects, they aren’t prescribed to pregnant women.
  • Cyclosporine — Slows the growth of skin cells by directly suppressing the immune system, but it’s limited to nine to 12 months of treatment. Regular monitoring when using cyclosporine is required.
  • Biological injectable — Some biologicals can be self-administered, while others must be given by a physician or medical staff.

What is Vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a condition that causes light patches on the skin. It affects about 1% to 2% of the American population and may appear anywhere on the body. Vitiligo may start small and then grow larger. The cells that create pigment, the melanocytes, are destroyed when vitiligo occurs. Essentially, the immune system begins attacking the melanocytes, and this results in the loss of pigmentation. Sometimes this may occur due to heredity. The condition usually develops between the ages of 10 to 40. 

How is Vitiligo Treated?

It is unusual for vitiligo to resolve on its own, although in some cases it may. In most situations, patients must seek treatment to improve the look of their skin if they suffer from vitiligo. Treatment for vitiligo is customized according to the patient. Although there is no known cure for vitiligo, there are ways to improve the overall skin appearance. Treatments may include topical steroid creams and ultraviolet light therapy. While it may not be completely eradicated, the appearance of vitiligo can be greatly reduced with the use of the right customized therapy.

 *Individual Results May Vary

Psoriasis is classified as a chronic and persistent, inflammatory skin disease. While psoriasis may look contagious, this skin condition is hereditary. It cannot be passed from one person to another. Some cases of psoriasis can be so mild that an individual may not notice they even have it. Alternatively, severe psoriasis tends to cover large areas of the body, showing on the skin as thick, red, flaky and at times itchy patches known as plaques.

Psoriasis develops when an individual’s immune system sends defective signals to skin cells promoting them to grow more rapidly than needed. This means new skin cells form in days rather than weeks. The skin cells then begin to pile up on the surface of the skin. As a result, the body does not shed these excess skin cells quick enough to balance out the development of new skin cells.

Psoriasis can be triggered by stress, strep infections, the cold and dry winter weather or lack of sunlight also can trigger psoriasis. Injured skin can also cause psoriasis to flare up. Skin injuries that affect psoriasis can include a cut, scratch, or severe sunburn. This is known as Koebner’s phenomenon or an isomorphic response.

There are 7 types of psoriasis, each with unique signs and symptoms. While there is no known cure for psoriasis, there are a number of treatment options available that can help control psoriasis outbreaks. Our professional staff will develop a custom tailored treatment plan for your specific circumstance.