At Cahaba Dermatology, we are one of the few treatment centers for psoriasis in Alabama and offer many therapeutic options for psoriasis from NB-UVB light therapy and PHAROS excimer treatment to oral, topical and injectable treatments. We offer NB-UVB for psoriasis and vitiligo treatment. We are experts at treating psoriasis and will help you find the right treatment regimen for you.
What is psoriasis and the symptoms?
Psoriasis is a common, chronic, scaly rash that affects people of all ages. There is a genetic predisposition to psoriasis, thus it tends to run in families. Psoriasis is also influenced by many environmental factors. It is not contagious and is not due to an allergy.
The most common ages for psoriasis to first appear are in the late teens and in the 50s. It affects men and women equally, although in children, girls are more commonly affected than boys.
Psoriasis is often so mild it is barely noticed by the affected person, but it can occasionally so severe the patient must be admitted to hospital for treatment. It may or may not be itchy.
TYPES OF PSORIASIS
Plaque psoriasis, or psoriasis vulgaris, appears as raised red rash (plaques) on the skin. Often, the rash has an appearance of white or slivery scale. Knees and elbows are common places for it to occur. The patches can itch and vary in size. Sometimes nails may become brittle, discolored and lift off the nail bed.
Guttate psoriasis involves small, red spots on the arms and legs, but can appear anywhere, and may clear up on its own. Sometimes it occurs after an illness.
Pustular psoriasis is a type which causes pus-filled bumps on the foot or hand, palms or soles. If these bumps appear all over the body, get the person to a hospital as soon as possible.
Inverse psoriasis, sometimes called flexural or intertriginous psoriasis, is smooth red patches of skin which appear raw, where skin touches skin such as the pelvic region or the armpits. Skin is sore to the touch.
Erythrodermic psoriasis, sometimes called exfoliative psoriasis, makes skin look as if it’s burned. Most skin on the body turns bright red and cannot maintain its normal temperature. Quick heartbeat, along with intense pain and itching can occur, and anyone affected should seek treatment right away.
WHAT CAUSES PSORIASIS?
Psoriasis is common. Roughly 7.5 million people in the USA have this condition, and 4/5ths have plaque psoriasis. It can occur at any age, but most get it between 15 and 30 years old. It is also not unusual for it to start between 50 and 60 years of age. Caucasians get psoriasis more often. Most likely to get inverse and guttate psoriasis are young children and infants. Psoriasis is not contagious–you can’t get it from another person.
A person’s genetics and immune system play roles in the disease, and not everyone with the genes associated with the disease will get it. Sometimes it must be triggered, and many say their disease began after a stressful even, illness, certain medications, cold and dry weather, a skin injury, or even a bad sunburn.
How is psoriasis diagnosed and treated?
Our doctors will examine your skin, nails and scalp for signs of the disease. You will also be asked about family history of psoriasis, recent illness or new medications. A skin biopsy may be part of the procedure, to help confirm the diagnosis. Treatment can reduce the effects of the disease, and sometimes clear it completely. We have a comprehensive approach to treatment of psoriasis.
What are the treatment options for psoriasis?
Systemic and Topical Therapy
At Cahaba Dermatology, We use both systemic and topical therapy for psoriasis including the following internal therapies: Biologic Therapy( Enbrel, Humira, Stellara, Remicade), Methotrexate, Soriatane and Cyclosporine. We monitor all appropriate blood work while patient is on these medications. For your convenience, we are able to draw bloodwork at our office. Topical medications may include topical steroids of different strengths and combination treatments.
This is the newest systemic therapy for psoriasis. We have used biologic medicines in many of her psoriasis patients with great results and have participated in some of the key clinical trials for new biologic medications. These drugs work by suppressing a particular part of the immune system that is most critical for the development of psoriasis. They are all given by injection, either in the office or at home. The current approved biologic medications for psoriasis include Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, and Stelara. We will work with you to find the most appropriate and safest medication to treat your psoriasis.
Phototherapy has been used for psoriasis for many years and is extremely safe. We have a top of the line phototherapy center offering total body phototherapy unit equipped with Narrow Band UVB and UVA lights. We have an experienced and well trained staff to assist you during phototherapy treatment. We will always make sure that you are comfortable during your treatment. Our staff will also assist you with home phototherapy if needed. Our patients come 2 to 3 times a week for quick painless treatment. There is no need to wait. These visits may be scheduled all throughout the day.
PHAROS Laser Therapy
The PHAROS excimer laser is different from cosmetic lasers that are usually associated with pain during treatment and post-treatment downtime for the patient. PHAROS is a Laser device FDA cleared for the treatment of PSORIASIS and VITILIGO. Although there is no known cure for psoriasis, PHAROS laser offers new hope for patients suffering from psoriasis. At Cahaba Dermatology we are excited to offer this safe and effective treatment modality to our patients.
Using a carefully focused beam of laser light delivered through a sophisticated liquid light guide delivery system, the PHAROS system is designed to clear psoriatic skin plaques quickly and effectively. Because it concentrates light on active lesions, PHAROS allows your health care technician to deliver the high therapeutic doses necessary for rapid clearing without risk to healthy skin.
Your treatment will be based upon a long-standing clinical protocol guide, which depends upon skin type, plaque location, and plaque thickness. Then the PHAROS hand-piece is moved over the affected area, applying laser light at your determined dose. Depending on the area to be treated the procedure time typically only takes a few minutes.
Equally exciting for psoriasis patients, the targeted high-dose laser therapy can effectively treat stubborn plaques including knees, elbows, palms, soles, and scalp, even those that have not responded to other treatments.
Almost ALL major insurance companies provide coverage for PHAROS laser treatments, especially since:
- PHAROS excimer laser has been in use since 2000 and is FDA approved.
- Numerous clinical studies have been published in peer-reviewed medical journals proving the effectiveness and safety of PHAROS
- PHAROS is regarded as a “Standard of Care” by the American Academy of Dermatology as published in the AAD’s Psoriasis Treatment Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals