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Chicago Medical Dermatology Conditions Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic disease. It develops when a person's immune system sends signals that tell skin cells to grow too quickly, 8X the normal rate. The body does not shed these excess skin cells, instead allowing them to pile up on the surface of the skin. Recent evidence points to the fact that psoriasis is not merely a skin disease, but instead a systemic condition that can lead to increased rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia. There is both a genetic and environmental origin to the condition. Psoriasis also commonly involves the joints and/or nails.

There are many categories of psoraisis:

1. Guttate Psoriasis: presents as tear-drop or rain-drop shaped pink lesions with an overlying scale. This is sometimes associated with a recent Streptococcal infection.
2. Plaque Psoriasis: presents as thick, adherent pink plaques with an overlying silvery scale that mimics salmon skin. The plaques can appear anywhere, but they tend to favor extensor areas such as the elbows and knees. Trauma to the skin or scratching can lead to development of the plaques and thickening, respectively.
3. Inverse Psoriasis: presents as pink, smooth plaques that appear to be wet in appearance. The category inverse implies the psoriasis is in flexor areas including by not limited to underarms (axillae), under breasts, in the groin, and in the gluteal cleft region.
4. Pustular Psoriasis: presents as red patches dotted with pus-filled bumps. This subtype can be associated with weakness, fever, fatigue, chills, rapid pulse. If this occurs, emergency care should be sought.
5. Erythrodermic Psoriasis: presents as full body involvement of red plaques that appear as a bad burn. This subtype also has systemic symptoms.
6. Palmoplantar Psoriasis: presents as thick, adherent plaques, sometimes with pus-filled bumps on the palms and soles. There is oftentimes nail involvement (pits, oil spots, dystrophy)

The most important part of the treatment is the workup and the history. Your dermatologist should inquire about your general health, not just your skin. Objective criteria such as body surface area, Physicians Global Assessment (PGA), and PASI score should be ascertained. Treatment is a stepwise approach, and should be specific to individual patients. Illinois Dermatology Institute – The Chicago Loop is on the forefront of the most novel and powerful treatments to keep psoriasis clear. Therapies include:

1. Topical treatments including corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, anthralin, coal tar
2. Oral treatments including methotrexate, Soriatane (acitretin), Otezla (apremilast).
3. Systemic Injectable/infusable treatments including Humira (adalimumab), Enbrel (etanercept), Stelara (ustekinumab), Cosentyx (secukinumab), Remicade (infliximab)
4. UVA/B therapy

To discuss your Psoriasis Chicago condition with a Board Certified Dermatologist please make an online appointment or call (312) 585 7299 today.

Psoriasis Treatments