Some of our patients have mild psoriasis (small, faint dry skin patches) but don’t even suspect that they have a medical skin condition. Others have more severe psoriasis where their entire body is fully covered with red, thick, scaly skin. Psoriasis is a noncontagious skin condition that normally affects the skin of the elbows, knees, and scalp. Our Central Park East dermatologist, Charles Kleinberg, MD, explains to our patients that psoriasis is considered an incurable, long-term skin condition but periodically improves then worsens again. Affecting all races and both sexes, psoriasis can be seen in people of all ages, from babies to seniors, but most commonly first diagnosed in the early adult years.
Psoriasis is still somewhat baffling to our Central Park East dermatologist and after over 30 years of research, the exact cause remains unknown. There has been speculation that it may be a combination of factors, including genetics and environmental factors. Commonly found in members of the same family, the immune system is thought to play a major role in psoriasis.
Basically, psoriasis appears as red, sometimes pink, areas of raised, thickened, and scaling skin and tends to be more common in areas of trauma, scratching, or abrasions. Our Central Park East dermatologist deals with several different types of psoriasis, including psoriasis vulgaris (common type), guttate psoriasis (small, drop-like spots), inverse psoriasis (in the folds of the underarms, buttocks, and navel), and pustular psoriasis (small pus-filled yellowish blisters). When the soles of the feet and palms are affected, this is known as palmoplantar psoriasis. Scalp psoriasis can look like serious dandruff with dry flakes and red areas of skin.
There are a few treatment options recommended by our Central Park East dermatologist, to treat moderate to severe cases of psoriasis. One being biologic psoriasis medication, made from living human or animal proteins. Phototherapy is also an option which is an ultraviolet light treatment that is used when topical therapy is unsuccessful. The Excimer Laser is used to treat plaque psoriasis that affects limited areas of the body. Dr. Kleinberg understands that psoriasis and its treatment are sensitive subjects for many patients and handles all with compassion and the dedication that has made him an expert in his field.