Penn dermatologists provide comprehensive care for patients with psoriasis, a chronic, non-contagious, genetic inflammatory autoimmune disease of the skin. It is the most common autoimmune disease in the United States affecting approximately 7.5 million people.
What is Psoriasis?
Patients with psoriasis may have inherited genes that cause the disease. Exposure to external triggers, such as stress, injury or trauma to the skin or specific medications for other health conditions, may cause psoriasis to develop.
Psoriasis can be associated with arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and depression. Recently, it has also been shown to be associated with an increase in risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease and elevation in lipids.
Psoriasis may occur at any age in both males and females and in all ethnic groups. Psoriasis most frequently develops for the first time in younger people in their late teens or early twenties. A second onset of psoriasis frequently occurs in adults in their mid to late fifties.
Treatment for Psoriasis at Penn Dermatology
The Psoriasis Clinic at Penn Dermatology provides treatment to patients of all ages and with all types and severity of the disease. Plaque psoriasis, the most common of the five forms of the disease, is characterized by raised red plaques with inflamed silvery scales that may appear on various parts of the body and can be itchy or may burn or be painful.
The Psoriasis Clinic offers a broad range of traditional and state-of-the-art methods including:
- Agents such as anthralin, calcineurin inhibitors, steroids, tar, vitamin D derivatives, in various topical formulations
- Local steroid injections
- Ultraviolet light treatments
- Excimer laser treatments
- Conventional systemic therapies including methotrexate, cyclosporine, and acitretin
- Biologic therapies including adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, ustekinumab
- Scalp therapies
Although there are no known cures for psoriasis, effective treatment approaches for psoriasis ─ such as the methods offered at The Psoriasis Clinic ─ can potentially put the psoriasis into remission for long periods of time.
Advanced Treatment at the Penn Psoriasis Day Care Center
Patients with severe psoriasis may be referred for more extensive consultation and treatment to the Psoriasis Day Care Center, located at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Penn Dermatology’s Psoriasis Day Care Center is one of only a few centers in the United States devoted to offering comprehensive and intensive treatment for advanced psoriasis. Patients receive customized and individualized attention at the center for the best possible outcomes. Day care therapy utilizes therapeutic baths, topical agents and ultraviolet light to allow the skin to heal without resorting to the use of internal medication.
The Psoriasis Day Care Center’s treatment suite provides patients with a relaxing, fully equipped lounge area to use between treatments. The lounge offers access to television and DVDs, kitchen facilities and complimentary meals.
Phototherapy Treatment Center for Psoriasis at Penn
For patients with more extensive psoriasis, advanced therapies are available at the Penn Dermatology Phototherapy Treatment Center. The center offers state-of-the-art treatment for psoriasis and other chronic or light responsive skin disorders.