Find Treatment for Red, Flaking Skin in the Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, and Main Line Areas

Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute provides diagnosis and treatments for psoriasis for Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, and Philadelphia-area patients. This is a common and chronically relapsing skin disease characterized by red patches with silver adherent scales that may itch. While psoriasis can appear at any age and anywhere on the body, it typically affects the elbows, knees, and/or scalp in adults.

This disease is generally considered to have a genetic component. Psoriasis is believed to result from a malfunction of the immune system that causes the overproduction of skin cells. Flare-ups are common, but we now have numerous available treatment options to control it. No one needs to live with “the burden of psoriasis.”

Want to find out more about diagnosis, treatments, and care for psoriasis at the Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute, serving Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, and Philadelphia? To request a consultation, call 610.525.0500 or contact us online.

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Certified Physician Assistants

Our board-certified dermatologists & PA-Cs are dedicated to detecting and treating skin cancers. We treat the full spectrum of skin diseases. Our Mohs and Plastic Surgery practices are integrated, and offer patients the most advanced skin cancer treatment, delivering superior outcomes.

Quick Facts About Psoriasis

  • Psoriasis affects 80 million people worldwide.
  • Plaque psoriasis is the most common form, affecting 90 percent of patients.
  • Psoriasis can cause as much disability as cancer and diabetes.
  • Up to 30 percent of patients with psoriasis have or will have arthritis.

Who Can Suffer from Psoriasis?

Although psoriasis can occur at any age, it’s more likely to affect adults than children and affects men and women equally. It is common across all skin types, races, and ethnicities. Genetics can predispose you to this disease, and it is believed to be more common among people who live in parts of the world that are farther away from the equator.

What Causes Psoriasis?

The exact cause of this disease is still not fully understood. Psoriasis is believed to be linked to a combination of different factors, including genetics and an overactive immune system that creates inflammation in the skin. It may skip generations in families predisposed to the disease.

Psoriasis is not contagious, so you can’t catch it from another person. The underlying abnormality is an increased cell turnover rate. Normally it takes approximately 14 days for the surface skin cells to be replaced. However, in psoriasis, the skin cell turnover rate is accelerated to three to four days. The result? Increased scale formation, which accumulates on the surface of your skin.

Psoriasis tends to occur cyclically, and flare-ups may last for several weeks to months. Remission from months to years can also occur.

What Are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?

Psoriasis typically presents with red plaques with silver adherent scales. This rash may bleed, itch, burn, and cause mild to moderate discomfort. Joint pain may accompany the rash. The nails can also be affected by psoriasis, presenting with a pitted, crumbly, and thickened appearance.

No matter what age psoriasis occurs, it can be very disruptive to quality of life. It is a chronic disease that commonly interferes with sleep, work, and personal relationships.

Although psoriasis and eczema can be similar in presentation, they are different skin diseases. There is typically more itching associated with eczema, and the thickened silver scales and plaques associated with psoriasis help distinguish between the two.

What Are the Different Types of Psoriasis?

Plaque Psoriasis

This is the most common type, characterized by raised red plaques that are covered in sliver adherent scales.

Guttate Psoriasis

This type is characterized by small, teardrop-shaped scaly patches. It is most commonly triggered by streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat).

Pustular Psoriasis

This is the rarest form, associated with well-defined, pus-filled blisters scattered over the body.

What Are the Triggers for Psoriasis?

Triggers are exposures that cause symptoms to develop or worsen. Sometimes a trigger can be an irritant, allergen, or other stressor (infection, emotional stress) that causes a change to the immune system. Not everyone has the same triggers, and not every trigger has the same affect in each person.

Being aware of what triggers exacerbate your psoriasis can help you to avoid flare-ups. Some of the most common triggers include injuries to the skin (such as cuts, surgery, insect bites, or sunburn), excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke, stress, hormonal changes, certain medications (such as lithium and beta-blockers), changing in body temperature due to the weather (especially cold and dry conditions), throat infections, and immune disorders.

Medical Psoriasis Treatment Options

While no cure is currently available and there is no way to prevent psoriasis from occurring, there are many new treatment options available to help control it.

Treatments are aimed at minimizing inflammation and decreasing the increased cell turnover rate of the skin cells. Living a healthy lifestyle, taking good care of your skin, and avoiding contact with triggers can also help to decrease the frequency of outbreaks.

We will discuss your potential treatment options and decide which ones are best suited for you. Decisions are based on age, medical history, type and severity of the disease, and personal preferences. Options include topical steroids, other topical medications, light therapy, laser therapy, and oral and injectable medications. The board-certified dermatologists at Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute use the most advanced and safest psoriasis treatments available.

Treatments for Other Dermatological Conditions

Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute provides diagnosis and comprehensive treatments for many other types of skin conditions, including acne, eczema, rosacea, skin cancer, and more.

Learn more about your treatment options for psoriasis at the Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute, serving Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, and Philadelphia. To book an appointment, call 610.525.0500 or contact us online.

Book online