Psoriasis

Psoriasis Specialist
More than seven million people in the United States have psoriasis. A chronic, inflammatory disease of the immune system, psoriasis is a serious, medical condition. Dr. Robert S. Berger at Charles County Dermatology Associates is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology. Dr. Berger serves men, women, and adolescents suffering from psoriasis in White Plains, Maryland, and neighboring areas. Call or schedule an appointment online to receive treatment for psoriasis and prevent the spread of the disease.

Psoriasis Q & A

Charles County Dermatology Associates

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that accelerates the life cycle of skin cells. It causes cells to build up quickly on the surface of your skin. These excess skin cells produce itchy, and sometimes painful, red patches and scales. The rash typically forms on your:

  • Scalp
  • Knees
  • Elbows
  • Lower back
  • Genitals

But, it can appear anywhere on your body. Psoriasis isn’t contagious.

What are the types of psoriasis?

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease. Less prevalent types of psoriasis include:

  • Guttate
  • Inverse
  • Pustular
  • Erythrodermic

Erythrodermic is the most severe kind of psoriasis.

What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

Psoriasis patients often experience itchy, dry, and cracked skin. A scaly scalp and skin pain are also symptoms of this life-altering disease. If you have psoriasis, your nails might become:

  • Pitted
  • Cracked
  • Crumbly

As many as 40% of psoriasis sufferers have joint inflammation that produces the signs of arthritis. This condition is referred to as psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis can cause stiff, swollen, and painful joints.

What triggers psoriasis outbreaks?

The severity and frequency of psoriasis outbreaks vary with each patient. Suffering a skin injury such as a cut, scrape, or surgery can cause a psoriasis occurrence. Emotional stress and certain medicines such as beta blockers and lithium are linked to psoriasis flare-ups. Some types of infections, including streptococcal infection, are associated with psoriasis outbreaks.

How is psoriasis treated?

Psoriasis treatments decrease inflammation and clear your skin. Several types of treatment options exist, including:

  • Topical alternatives
  • Oral medications
  • Biologics (injectable drugs)
  • Light therapy

Topical options are often used to treat mild and moderate cases of psoriasis. If you suffer from severe psoriasis, Dr. Berger might prescribe a combination of creams, oral medicines, biologics, and light therapy. Topical psoriasis treatment alternatives include:

  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Topical retinoids
  • Vitamin D analogues
  • Anthralin
  • Coal tar
  • Calcineurin inhibitors
  • Salicylic acid
  • Moisturizers

Oral medications commonly prescribed for psoriasis include:

  • Retinoids
  • Methotrexate
  • Cyclosporine

Etanercept, infliximab, and adalimumab are types of biologics used to treat this skin condition. To effectively eradicate moderate and severe cases of psoriasis, Dr. Berger uses different forms of light therapy, including a psoriasis photo therapy box, ultraviolet B, and UV biotech. Ultraviolet B (broadband) can successfully treat single patches, widespread psoriasis, or psoriasis that resists topical creams.

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