Psoriasis Specialist

Knight Dermatology Institute

Dermatology located in Orlando, FL & Lake Mary, FL

Psoriasis is a persistent, inflammatory condition of the skin. It is not contagious, but it is a hereditary condition that can be passed on from generation to generation. While the exact cause of this skin condition is unknown, it is believed to be an immune system disorder of over-active T-cells. Triggers usually cause psoriasis to appear or flare: these include injury to the skin (such as a cut, scrape, sunburn), cold, dry weather, infections, and certain medications.

Psoriasis

There are five main types of psoriasis: 

  • Plaque, which is the most common form, appearing on the knees, elbows, scalp, lower back, as well as other places on the skin, and appears as patches or raised, reddish, scaly skin.
  • Guttate, which appears as small red spots, typically affecting children and young adults, and usually occurs after a sore throat.
  • Pustular, which appears as white pustules surrounded by red skin, is usually located on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet
  • Inverse, which appears as smooth, red lesions in the folds of the skin such as in the armpit area, breast areas, buttocks, genital area, and around the groin.
  • Erythrodermic, which causes widespread redness, pain, and severe itching.

Psoriasis cannot be cured, but it can be effectively treated and controlled. There are a number of treatment methods including the use of: 

  • Topical creams and solutions, light therapy and systemic therapy, corticosteroids, anthralin, calcipotriene, retinoids, and coal tar are some of the topical products used to treat this condition. 
  • Biologic medications (i.e. Embrel, Raptiva, Humira) are the latest agents available in the treatment of psoriasis; these drugs target only the specific part of the immune system responsible for psoriasis (i.e. TNF-alpha) instead of suppressing the entire immune system.
  • Systemic treatments (i.e. methotrexate, cyclosporine), which suppresses the entire immune system, are also effective. These treatments are used for patients with very severe cases that cannot be controlled with other medications. Close monitoring is required due to the potential of serious side effects.