A Dermatologist Shares What's New in Psoriasis Treatments
Psoriasis affects about 3% of the population, and it’s a significant cause of both discomfort and disability in both people’s skin and joints. We’re well-equipped to manage psoriasis at Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates PC, from infancy to seniors, with our Board-certified Dermatologist and Board-certified Pediatric and Adult Rheumatologists. The good news is that newer treatment options are allowing more and more patients with psoriasis to live life to its fullest.
Psoriasis presents with dry, often itchy areas in the skin, with flaking, peeling, and cracking of the skin. It tends to occur on the elbows, the knees, and the scalp, but it can occur on any part of the body. The cause of psoriasis is felt by many Dermatologists to be genetic – because it tends to run in certain families. And about 40% of people with psoriasis also have what’s called psoriatic arthritis, which is pain and swelling in certain joints, particularly the hands, the spines, and the arms and legs.
Proper diagnosis of psoriasis requires the judgement of an experienced physician who treats psoriasis, because there’s no diagnostic blood test, and the features of a skin biopsy test are often unable to clinch the diagnosis. Dermatologists can work on the skin-end of psoriasis, and collaborate with Rheumatologists, who specialize in joint involvement. Above is a photo of Cathy Chapman M.D., a Rheumatologist. In fact, Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates, at 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018, is one of about 12 combined Dermatology and Rheumatology practices in the United States, now in our 27th year.
Traditional psoriasis management has often involved prescription steroid creams and ointments, sometimes with the addition of a vitamin D medicine called Calcipotriene Ointment. More severe cases often benefit from injections of steroids into the skin, which is called intralesional therapy, or even light treatments (called narrow band UVB therapy). And sometimes we use an oral medication called Methotrexate, as either a tablet or an injection. Sometimes Dermatologists also consider an oral vitamin A medicine called Soriatane®.
Newer therapies for psoriasis, particularly if it’s settled into the joints as well, often involve what are called biologic therapies, of which there are currently more than ten medications, including Humira®, Enbrel®, Remicade®, Cimzia®, Stelara®, and Cosentyx®. These medications tend to moderately improve psoriasis, both in the joints and in the skin, but they do not permanently cure psoriasis, and they have certain side-effects, including risk of reactivation of underlieing infection, including tuberculosis.
Staff at Rheumatology and Dermatology working with injectable medications.
And we also now know that use of moisturizers tends to help the skin of people with psoriasis, or a tendency to psoriasis. Common examples include Aveeno®, Eucerin, and Aquaphor®.
In 2016, I incorporated ideas coming out of my own Dermatology practice and that of my mother, Linda Woodbury M.D., a Board-certified Dermatologist who did her training at the University of Chicago, to become President of Big River Silk Skincare™ Inc. (www.Bigriversilkskincare.com).
Our flagship moisturizers - GlycoShea™ Hand&Body Cream (both Standard Strength and Hight Strength) and GlycoShea™ Facial&Neck Cream – contain both refined Shea Butter and a skin-smoothing, anti-wrinkle Alpha-Hydroxy Acid ingredient called Glycolic Acid – to reduce the appearance of fine lines in the skin and to help to even out skin color. These GlycoShea moisturizers act as effective skin sealants to protect your skin against damage from cold, drying weather, allowing your skin to become more resilient. They’re available at our headquarters, at 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018, Monday-Friday, from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM, and also at www.Bigriversilkskincare.com. We do offer free USPS shipping or orders over $40.00.
Myself (George Woodbury Jr. M.D.) with support staff of Big River Silk Skincare, Inc., at the Southern Women's Show, Cordova TN, March 7th, 2018.
George Woodbury Jr. M.D. Board-certified Dermatologist at Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates PC 8143 Walnut Grove Road Cordova TN 38018 Info@rheumderm.com 1-901-753-0168