Dermatology Associates of Ithaca

What is Psoriasis and How Do I Treat It?

Posted by  //  December 5, 2017  //  Articles, Local Business

3773 Luker Road
Cortland, NY 13045
P: (607) 257-1107
F: (607) 257-0369

Justly named the “heartbreak of psoriasis,” psoriasis affects 7 million adults in the US. Named after an ancient Greek word meaning an itchy or scaly condition, it is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease of the skin. There are various triggers including stress, injury to the skin, medications, infection and the ever-changing weather in Central New York! Caused by increased activity of the immune system, which causes redness, scale, and sometimes itch, it commonly appears on the scalp, elbows and knees.

It has become increasingly important to treat psoriasis because although it was once thought of as a skin disease that sometimes affected the joints, we now know it can affect other organs in our body causing heart disease, diabetes, obesity, inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, and even depression.

Like many diseases, living with psoriasis has its unique challenges. Today, there are many new and effective treatments including topical medications such as steroids and vitamin D containing creams. Some cases may need a systemic treatment such as light therapy or oral medications (adding a fish oil supplement has shown to be helpful). In Central New York, Dermatology Associates of Ithaca has one of the few Ultraviolet B phototherapy booths. For those with widespread psoriasis, injected biologic medications may be a more convenient and effective option than topical medications or light therapy.

Aside from medical treatments, exercise and good lifestyle choices will always be important. Taking steps to reduce stress and eating a well balanced diet can help to keep the skin healthy for everyone!

Dr. Josephine C. McAllister is a board-certified, Harvard trained dermatologist who has selectively chosen and mentored her team of five Physician Assistants with a mission to make dermatologic care more accessible to patients. They are excited to welcome patients to their new office, conveniently located in Cortland at 3773 Luker Road.

 

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