What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder that appears as red, thickened areas of skin with significant
scale. It is most commonly located on the elbows, knees, and scalp, but can appear anywhere on the body.
Psoriasis affects up to 5% of the population. It can appear at any age, but most commonly appears at two
specific peaks: one at 20-30 years of age and a second peak at 50-60 years. Psoriasis not only affects a
patient’s skin, it can also create a significant emotional burden in those who suffer from it.
Our goal at Treasure Valley Dermatology is to provide you with the most effective treatment and
limit the number of visits required to resolve your psoriasis issues.
What causes psoriasis?
Despite decades of research, a specific cause is still not known. Psoriasis is an immune-mediated skin
disorder. A complex combination of genetics and environmental triggers including stress, trauma to the
skin, certain medications, and infections lead to the development of psoriasis.
How is psoriasis diagnosed?
Most cases of psoriasis can be easily identified by a
trained dermatology professional with a simple skin
exam. In some instances, a skin biopsy is performed to confirm the diagnosis. Numerous other skin
eczema, fungal infections, and other inflammatory
skin conditions can have a similar appearance to psoriasis, so it is important to be evaluated by
someone familiar with this disease.
Although psoriasis may appear to be a skin only disease we now understand that psoriasis can lead to
inflammation in your body that can affect your joints, heart, and blood vessels and may increase the
risk of heart attack and stroke. These factors make it critical to seek appropriate treatment of
psoriasis and its potential complications.
What treatments are available?
Fortunately, there are numerous treatments available to those suffering from psoriasis. While there is
no definitive cure, there are several highly effective options with more being developed each year. Some
of the treatments we most commonly use at Treasure Valley Dermatology:
Vitamin D Analogues
Topical medications containing calcipotriene (a form of synthetic Vitamin D) work to slow the growth of
skin cells and decrease inflammation. They are most commonly used in combination with topical steroids.
Ultraviolet light has long been known to improve psoriasis without the risks of systemic therapy. When
appropriate, our providers can help you obtain UVB light treatment.
Numerous oral medications including otezla, methotrexate and soriatane are used as a first-line
treatment in those with moderate to severe psoriasis.
Medications such as Humira, Taltz, Cosentyx, and Stelara are injected into the skin and provide
excellent results in patients not adequately controlled with treatments listed above.
If you have psoriasis, please call and schedule an appointment with one of our physicians. Psoriasis
doesn’t have to be a burden in your life, and we will be happy to create a treatment plan to make that
To receive a skin examination or dermatologic treatment,
request an appointment or call Treasure Valley Dermatology & Skin Cancer
Center in Boise today.
Psoriasis conditions can vary significantly from patient to patient depending on the skin type and
severity of environmental conditions.