Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition which characteristically appears as dry, silvery, scaling patches or plaques on the skin surface. Psoriasis can remain stable on the skin for a long time, but flare-ups are seen frequently in many that are suffering from psoriasis. Psoriasis is found mainly on the elbows, knees, scalp, chest and trunk and can also affect the toenails and fingernails. It may begin in late childhood or young adulthood and usually continues throughout life.
What Causes It?
The cause of psoriasis is currently unknown but recent investigations show the immune system plays a major role. Psoriasis is a genetic skin condition, therefore a family history of psoriasis can cause a person to develop the disease. Other aggravating factors include trauma to the skin and emotional stress.
What Can Be Done?
Psoriasis can be controlled in most everyone today and we are closer to a “cure” than we have ever been before. More research is being performed in psoriasis than ever before and we have wonderful new therapies that are helping our patients faster and better than ever before. One only has to watch any television commercial to realize all of the new medicines that are now available for the treatment of psoriasis, which is an amazing benefit for our patients suffering from psoriasis.
Topical corticosteroids and appropriate moisturizers are the first line of treatment to control inflammation and to stop the spread of psoriasis. Combination therapies using topical steroids and Vitamin D or Vitamin A prescription creams also have emerged to provide more rapid relief from the symptoms in many.
In patients who have localized disease, Gold Skin Care Center uses the excimer laser, known as the XTrac, which delivers a specific wavelength of light known to treat the psoriatic plaques. The XTrac is FDA approved and Dr. Gold helped pioneer this therapy in the US market.
The “TV Medicines,” as Dr. Gold often refers to them, are also known as the Biologic Medicines. These are monoclonal antibodies that target specific pathways in the cell cycle that forms the psoriasis plaques. Over the past 10 years, we have been blessed to have many of these biologic medicines come through the FDA process and are now available to our patients. Laboratory monitoring is needed for most, and most require injections of the medicine into the skin, but not all. Dr. Gold and his skilled providers work with you and your insurance companies to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for these medicines and what your insurance coverage will be.
These are Humira, Enbrel, Cimzia, Stelara, Cosentyx, Siliq, Taltz, Tremfya, Skyrizi, and Illumya. In addition, oral medications are also available, including Otezla and methotrexate.
Tennessee Clinical Research Center is very active and has been very active for many years in evaluating the newest of these biologic medicines for psoriasis, as well as new topical medicines that are being evaluated. For more information call TCRC at 615-383-9660 or visit www.tnclinicalresearch.com to view the current list of studies.