We understand the physical and emotional impact psoriasis has on a patient's psychological well-being.
The Psoriasis Treatment Center at Vujevich Dermatology Associates in Pittsburgh is a state-of-the-art facility specializing in the latest treatments for psoriasis. We understand psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are both physically and mentally distressing chronic conditions for patients and require specialized treatment regimens tailored to the individual patient. Our goal is to help you control, manage, and treat your psoriasis so you can improve your quality of life with this skin condition. The Psoriasis Treatment Center offers our patients novel therapies including the newer "biologic" medications, narrow-band ultraviolet B phototherapy, and other traditional oral and topical medications.
Psoriasis is a common immune-mediated chronic skin disease that comes in different forms and varying levels of severity. In fact, more than 4.5 million adults in the United States have it. Most researchers now conclude that psoriasis is related to the immune system, often called an "immune-mediated" disorder.
What Does Psoriasis Look Like?
Psoriasis generally appears as patches of raised red skin covered by a flaky white buildup. In certain kinds of psoriasis, it also has a pimple-ish, or burned discolored appearance. Are you itchy? Psoriasis can also cause intense itching and burning.
Psoriasis is not contagious. In general, it's a condition that is frequently found on the knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet or lower back. Many treatments are available to help manage its symptoms.
Between 10% and 30% of people with psoriasis also develop a related form of arthritis, called psoriatic arthritis.
What Are the Causes and Triggers of Psoriasis?
Researchers believe the immune system sends faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle in skin cells. Certain people carry genes that make them more likely to develop psoriasis, but not everyone with these genes develops psoriasis. Instead, a "trigger" makes the psoriasis appear in those who have these genes. Also, some triggers may work together to cause an outbreak of psoriasis; this makes it difficult to identify individual factors.
Possible psoriasis triggers are emotional stress, injury to the skin, some types of infection, and a reaction to certain drugs.
Once the disease is triggered, the skin cells pile up on the surface of the body faster than normal. In people without psoriasis, skin cells mature and are shed about every 28 days. In psoriatic skin, the skin cells move rapidly up to the surface of the skin over three to six days. Unfortunately, the body can't shed the skin cells fast enough, and this process results in plaques or lesions forming on the skin's surface.
How is Psoriasis Diagnosed?
At the Psoriasis Treatment Center, we diagnose psoriasis by examining the affected skin. Sometimes, we remove a small piece of skin affected by the psoriasis and examine it under a microscope. There is no blood test for psoriasis.
What Are the Treatments for Psoriasis?
Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have no cure, but people have a wide range of treatment options to help them gain control over their disease. Many different therapies can reduce, or nearly stop, the symptoms of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. No single treatment works for everyone, but something is likely to work in most cases. Individuals may need to experiment before they find a treatment that works for them. You can learn more about psoriasis treatment here.
Are you struggling with psoriasis? If you seem to be developing severe psoriatic arthritis, it’s important to begin appropriate treatment now. Early treatment can help slow the disease and preserve function and range of motion. Some early indicators of severe disease include onset at a young age, spinal involvement, and the results of certain blood studies.
Schedule a Psoriasis Treatment Center Appointment
If you’re developing psoriasis or severe psoriatic arthritis, contact us today. At our Psoriasis Treatment Center here at Vujevich Dermatology Associates in Pittsburgh, we want to help manage and treat psoriasis so our patients can improve their quality of life with this skin condition.