Suffering from Psoriasis in Washington, DC?
We are recognized experts for the treatment of psoriasis in Washington, DC. Psoriasis is a genetically determined, chronic inflammatory disease of the skin marked by thickened, scaly, dry plaques in affected areas. Psoriasis comes in many forms, such as palmoplantar psoriasis (hands/feet), scalp psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, and the classic generalized plaque psoriasis. The nature of disease may change over time, however psoriasis is a lifelong condition for most people who suffer from it. As there is no cure for psoriasis we tailor therapies to each individual to attain satisfactory long-term control of a patient's disease to improve quality of life while also minimizing interruption to a patients activities.
How is Psoriasis Treated?
The mainstays of psoriasis treatment are topical agents. These may include topical steroids, tar compounds, Vitamin D analogs, moisturizers, salicylic acid, and retinoids. For mild or very localized psoriasis topical agents are often all that is needed for complete control of symptoms
Phototherapy with narrow band UVB or Psoralen plus UVA (PUVA) can also be effective in treating psoriasis. While effective and quite popular during the 1980s and 1990s, this type of treatment requires a patient to undergo light treatment 2-3 times per week for months at a time. Due to this time commitment and the development of new systemic therapies phototherapy is now reserved for patients who fail or are intolerant to other treatments.
Systemic psoriasis treatments are also available. These can be divided into two classes, the systemic immunosuppressives and the 'biologicals'. The systemic immunosuppressives are oral medications and include Methotrexate, Cyclosporine, and Retinoids, which while effective tend to have side effects and require frequent blood monitoring during therapy.
Over the last decade incredible advances have been made in psoriasis treatment with the development of targeted biological therapies for psoriasis. Drugs in this class include Enbrel, Humira, and Stelara. In contrast to the previously mentioned oral immunosuppressives these newer drugs target specific points in the immune process that leads psoriasis. These drugs are administered by injection either at home or in the office. While incredibly effective, due to cost and infection risks while on these medications they are currently only indicated for severe psoriasis refractory to traditional topical treatments as well as patients with concomitant psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.