Psoriasis: new treatments, excellent results

Psoriasis is both a common and an age-old problem that affects about five percent of people worldwide. It presents as red, scaling plaques on the skin that often itch and bleed. Most commonly psoriasis occurs on the elbows and knees, but it can be found anywhere on the body, including the face and scalp.

For centuries, it has affected people in all walks of life and all nationalities. It can be progressive and may appear at any time during one’s life. It is one of the most common skin diseases, striking an estimated five percent of the world’s population.

Psoriasis treatment

Of those affected, approximately 25 percent can develop an associated psoriatic arthritis, which is both progressive and degenerative. Psoriatic arthritis can be debilitating. Psoriasis is not contagious, but it can interfere with normal life and social relationships and cause many sufferers to isolate themselves from friends and family.

Heredity plays a part in the disease, with approximately 10 percent of all sufferers being able to identify a genetic relative with the disease. Stress, injury, infection, medication, or trauma can trigger an initial episode or cause a flare-up of psoriasis.

psoriasis scalp

There are many varieties of psoriasis, including guttate psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, plaque psoriasis, scalp psoriasis, and inverse psoriasis. Inverse psoriasis occurs in the armpit, under the breasts, and in the skin folds around the groin, buttocks, and genitals.

Scalp psoriasis is often mistaken for dandruff. Guttate psoriasis can affect anyone, but it often starts after a sore throat associated with streptococcal infection.

psoriasis

Pustular psoriasis is a painful condition that is limited almost exclusively to the palms and soles. Pustular psoriasis can be quite debilitating, and can even prevent walking and the ability to work with the hands. Psoriasis can also affect the nails, imitating a fungal infection and causing pits in the nails or producing brown spots under the nails known as “oil spots.”

What causes psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a genetic disease involving both autoimmune and inflammatory components. The standard skin growth cycle requires approximately 28 days for skin cells to go from the basal layer to the top. In psoriasis, this growth rate is dramatically increased and occurs every three to five days. As a result, the skin cannot shed normally and instead piles up, forming thick scaling plaques.

In the past it was believed that psoriasis was a disorder of the skin cells, where the cells were unable to grow at a healthy rate. However, it is now understood there are many contributing factors, such as the immune system.

Often, immune cells can leave the blood stream and produce compounds that interact with cells in the skin to produce this rapid growth phase. Biologic treatments are targeted at the immune cells to interfere with their ability to produce the rapid growth and inflammatory phase associated with arthritis.

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

Dermatologists diagnose psoriasis by examining the skin, nails and scalp. If the diagnosis is in doubt, a skin biopsy may be helpful.

How is psoriasis treated?

My philosophy is to use a combination approach, utilizing many different compounds in the treatment of psoriasis to achieve an effective and synergistic result. At Crutchfield Dermatology, we are recognized as a “Psoriasis Treatment Center of Excellence.” I employ both topical medicines, light treatments (ultraviolet light and lasers), and systemic medicines.

Topical treatments include steroid creams, tar-based products, Vitamin A treatments, Vitamin D treatments, and our exclusive, patented, and very effective CutiCort1 steroid spray. In addition to topical medicines, I also prescribe phototherapeutic measures, including narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy and targeted laser treatments.

Phototherapeutic treatments can be performed by using a full-body and hand-and-foot light box to treat resistant hand and foot psoriasis. Finally, oral/systemic medications including methotrexate, cyclosporine, oral retinoids, and the latest, most advanced generation of medicines that combat psoriasis known as “biologic agents” can produce exceptional results.

Future of psoriasis

More and more research is being done every day giving us better insight into psoriasis. This research will allow the disorder to be treated even more efficiently in the future.

We know that psoriasis is a genetic disease and is much more than a cosmetic concern. Physicians now recognize that having psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, arthritis, obesity, intestinal diseases, kidney disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and gum disease.

However, with the correct diagnosis and modern treatment program, psoriasis can be very successfully managed, as well as the many complications of psoriasis. If you have psoriasis, you don’t have to suffer. Talk to your dermatologist about the many new and significantly effective treatments now available.

Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD is a board certified dermatologist and Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He also has a private practice in Eagan, MN. He received his M.D. and Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology and Genomics from the Mayo Clinic. He has been selected as one of the top 10 dermatologists in the United States by Black Enterprise magazine. Dr. Crutchfield was recognized by Minnesota Medicine as one of the 100 Most Influential Healthcare Leaders in Minnesota. He is the team dermatologist for the Minnesota Twins, Vikings, Timberwolves, Wild and Lynx. Dr. Crutchfield is an active member of both the American and National Medical Associations.

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What is psoriasis and why should I care about it?

Psoriasis Skin Condition
Psoriasis Before Treatment

Psoriasis is an itchy skin condition that appears as patches and plaques of dry, scaly skin located most commonly on the elbows, knees and scalp. Psoriasis, however, can occur anywhere.

Sometimes it can be very mild with just a couple of spots, and in other cases it can be quite severe and widespread. Psoriasis can also make your fingernails and toenails rough and discolored with small pits.

Why should I care about psoriasis?

Psoriasis is extremely common, and approximately five percent of all people have this skin disease. Psoriasis has associations with arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and dental disease.

After Psoriasis Treatment
Psoriasis After Treatment

What causes psoriasis?

The exact cause of psoriasis is poorly understood; however, we do know that there is a genetic basis for psoriasis and it can run in families. There are probably several genes responsible for causing psoriasis.

 

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

Psoriasis is diagnosed by board certified dermatologists based on its classic clinical presentation. There are some rare forms of psoriasis where a biopsy may be required. Some versions that occur only on the hands and feet may also be present as painful pustules on the palms and soles. Continue reading What is psoriasis and why should I care about it?

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What is psoriasis and why should I care about it?

Psoriasis is an itchy skin condition that appears as patches and plaques of dry, scaly skin located most commonly on the elbows, knees and scalp. Psoriasis, however, can occur anywhere. Sometimes it can be very mild with just a couple of spots, and in other cases it can be quite severe and widespread. Psoriasis can also make your fingernails and toenails rough and discolored with small pits.

Before Psoriasis Treatment
Before Psoriasis Treatment

Why should I care about psoriasis?

Psoriasis is extremely common, and approximately five percent of all people have this skin disease. Psoriasis has associations with arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and dental disease.

What causes psoriasis?

The exact cause of psoriasis is poorly understood; however, we do know that there is a genetic basis for psoriasis and it can run in families. There are probably several genes responsible for causing psoriasis.

psoriasis treatment
After Psoriasis Treatment at Crutchfield Dermatology

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

Psoriasis is diagnosed by board certified dermatologists based on its classic clinical presentation. There are some rare forms of psoriasis where a biopsy may be required. Some versions that occur only on the hands and feet may also present as painful pustules on the palms and soles.

Can psoriasis be prevented?

Because psoriasis is a genetic condition, it cannot be prevented. However, flare-ups can be minimized. Certain medications, heavy smoking, and heavy drinking are triggers that can be avoided to minimize flare-ups of psoriasis. Following a carefully developed treatment plan from your dermatologist will also help tremendously.

How is psoriasis treated?

There are many great treatments for psoriasis. Unfortunately, a recent survey demonstrated that almost 90 percent of patients with psoriasis are unhappy with their current treatment program. If you have psoriasis and are unhappy with your current treatment, this is something that needs to be discussed with your dermatologist.

Treatments for psoriasis include topical moisturizing creams, topical anti-inflammatory prescription creams and ointments, oral medications, special phototherapy/light treatments, and a new class of medications called injectable biologic medications. Many dermatologists will combine several of these for optimal results.

Because 25 percent of patients with psoriasis can also develop psoriatic arthritis, it is important to mention to your doctor if you’re having any joint pain, especially in your hands and feet in the morning lasting more than 20 minutes. This is an early sign for psoriatic arthritis; it’s important to note that arthritis can occur before, during, or years after psoriasis of the skin is diagnosed.

Action steps for anyone with psoriasis

  • See your dermatologist and develop a progressive treatment plan for your arthritis.
  • Let your dermatologist know if you’re having any joint pain.
  • Be sure to also ask your dermatologist about phototherapy treatments.
  • Schedule a regular general medical examination every year with the appropriate tests for your age and sex.
  • Let your primary care doctor know that you have psoriasis and are also concerned about arthritis, diabetes and heart disease.
  • Because psoriasis can also affect your teeth, make sure you have yearly dental examinations.
  • Remember, there are great treatments for psoriasis, and if your current program is not working, talk to your dermatologist to modify and/or change your current treatment program.

Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD is a board certified dermatologist and Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He also has a private practice in Eagan, MN. He has been selected as one of the top 10 dermatologists in the U.S. by Black Enterprise magazine and one of the top 21 African American physicians in the U.S. by the Atlanta Post. Dr. Crutchfield is an active member of the Minnesota Association of Black Physicians, MABP.org.

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What is psoriasis and why should I care about it?

Dr. Charles CrutchfieldPsoriasis is an itchy skin condition that appears as patches and plaques of dry, scaly skin located most commonly on the elbows, knees and scalp. Psoriasis, however, can occur anywhere. Sometimes it can be very mild with just a couple of spots, and in other cases it can be quite severe and widespread. Psoriasis can also make your fingernails and toenails rough and discolored with small pits.

 

Why  should I care  about  psoriasis?

Psoriasis is extremely common, and approximately five percent of all people have this skin disease. Psoriasis has associations with arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and dental disease.

 

What causes psoriasis?

The exact cause of psoriasis is poorly understood; however, we do know that there is a genetic basis for psoriasis and it can run in families. There are probably several genes responsible for causing psoriasis.

 

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

Psoriasis is diagnosed by board-certified dermatologists based on its classic clinical presentation. There are some rare forms of psoriasis where a biopsy may be required. Some versions that occur only on the hands and feet may also present as painful pustules on the palms and soles.

Psoriasis before and after treatment

Psoriasis before and after treatment

 

Can psoriasis be prevented?

Because psoriasis is a genetic condition, it cannot be prevented. However, flare-ups can be minimized. Certain medications, heavy smoking, and heavy drinking are triggers that can be avoided to minimize flare-ups of psoriasis. Following a carefully developed treatment plan from your dermatologist will also help tremendously.

 

How is psoriasis treated?

There are many great treatments for psoriasis. Unfortunately, a recent survey demonstrated that almost 90 percent of patients with psoriasis are unhappy with their current treatment program. If you have psoriasis and are unhappy with your current treatment, this is something that needs to be discussed with your dermatologist.

Treatments for psoriasis include topical moisturizing creams, topical anti-inflammatory prescription creams and ointments, oral medications, special phototherapy/light treatments, and a new class of medications called injectable biologic medications. Many dermatologists will combine several of these for optimal results.

Because 25 percent of patients with psoriasis can also develop psoriatic arthritis, it is important to mention to your doctor if you’re having any joint pain, especially in your hands and feet in the morning lasting more than 20 minutes. This is an early sign for psoriatic arthritis; it’s important to note that arthritis can occur before, during, or years after psoriasis of the skin is diagnosed.

 

Action steps for anyone with psoriasis

See your dermatologist and develop a progressive treatment plan for your arthritis.

Let your dermatologist know if you’re having any joint pain.

Be sure to also ask your dermatologist about phototherapy treatments.

Schedule a regular general medical examination every year with the appropriate tests for your age and sex.

Let your primary care doctor know that you have psoriasis and are also concerned about arthritis, diabetes and heart disease.

Because psoriasis can also affect your teeth, make sure you have yearly dental examinations.

Remember, there are great treatments for psoriasis, and if your current program is not working, talk to your dermatologist to modify and/or change your current treatment program.

 

Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD is a board certified dermatologist and Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He also has a private practice in Eagan, MN. He has been selected as one of the top 10 dermatologists in the U.S. by Black Enterprise magazine and one of the top 21 African American physicians in the U.S. by the Atlanta Post. Dr. Crutchfield is an active member of the Minnesota Association of Black Physicians, MABP.org.

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What is psoriasis and why should I care about it?

crutchfieldsquare Psoriasis is an itchy skin condition that appears as patches and plaques of dry, scaly skin located most commonly on the elbows, knees and scalp. Psoriasis, however, can occur anywhere. Sometimes it can be very mild with just a couple of spots, and in other cases it can be quite severe and widespread. Psoriasis can also make your fingernails and toenails rough and discolored with small pits.

Why should I care about psoriasis?

Psoriasis is extremely common, and approximately five percent of all people have this skin disease. Psoriasis has associations with arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and dental disease.

What causes psoriasis?

The exact cause of psoriasis is poorly understood; however, we do know that there is a genetic basis for psoriasis and it can run in families. There are probably several genes responsible forcausing psoriasis.

Psoriasis before and after treatment

Psoriasis before and after treatment

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

Psoriasis is diagnosed by board-certified dermatologists based on its classic clinical presentation. There are some rare forms of psoriasis where a biopsy may be required. Some versions that occur only on the hands and feet may also present as painful pustules on the palms and soles.

 

Can psoriasis be prevented?

Because psoriasis is a genetic condition, it cannot be prevented. However, flare-ups can be minimized. Certain medications, heavy smoking, and heavy drinking are triggers that can be avoided to minimize flare-ups of psoriasis. Following a carefully developed treatment plan from your dermatologist will also help tremendously.

 

How is psoriasis treated?

There are many great treatments for psoriasis. Unfortunately, a recent survey demonstrated that almost 90 percent of patients with psoriasis are unhappy with their current treatment program. If you have psoriasis and are unhappy with your current treatment, this is something that needs to be discussed with your dermatologist.

Treatments for psoriasis include topical moisturizing creams, topical anti-inflammatory prescription creams and ointments, oral medications, special phototherapy/light treatments, and a new class of medications called injectable biologic medications. Many dermatologists will combine several of these for optimal results.

Because 25 percent of patients with psoriasis can also develop psoriatic arthritis, it is important to mention to your doctor if you’re having any joint pain, especially in your hands and feet in the morning lasting more than 20 minutes. This is an early sign for psoriatic arthritis; it’s important to note that arthritis can occur before, during, or years after psoriasis of the skin is diagnosed.

 

Action steps for anyone with psoriasis

• See your dermatologist and develop a progressive treatment plan for your arthritis.

• Let your dermatologist know if you’re having any joint pain.

•  Be sure to also ask your dermatologist about phototherapy treatments.

• Schedule a regular general medical examination every year with the appropriate tests for your age and sex.

•  Let your primary care doctor know that you have psoriasis and are also concerned about arthritis, diabetes and heart disease.

• Because psoriasis can also affect your teeth, make sure you have yearly dental examinations.

Remember, there are great treatments for psoriasis, and if your current program is not working, talk to your dermatologist to modify and/or change your current treatment program.

 

Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD is a board certified dermatologist and Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He also has a private practice in Eagan, MN. He has been selected as one of the top 10 dermatologists in the U.S. by Black Enterprise magazine and one of the top 21 African American physicians in the U.S. by the Atlanta Post. Dr. Crutchfield is an active member of the Minnesota Association of Black Physicians, Psoriasis before and after treatment MABP.org

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My Faith is Restored! Psoriasis Testimonial

Crutchfield Dermatology Website

“Dr. Crutchfield is amazing and has restored my faith in the physician community. He is gentle and kind and he always makes me feel comfortable with any procedure. The staff are respectful and kind, always making sure you know what is going on. I cannot tell you what a blessing Dr. Crutchfield has been in my life. I will recommend Crutchfield Dermatology to everyone I know!”
— Jennifer S.

Learn more about our Psoriasis treatments online

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