Psoriasis and Related Ailments

Psoriasis is a skin disease in which skin cells go through their life cycle in days, rather than the normal period of weeks. It causes patches of red, itchy skin to appear. This condition is chronic, but many new approaches have been identified that are helping to treat psoriasis more effectively.

Psoriatic arthritis is a condition of the joints. About one-third of patients with psoriasis also experience psoriatic arthritis. In about 15% of cases, though, patients with psoriatic arthritis do not have psoriasis. This disease can cause severe pain and disability. One of the greatest problems is that psoriatic arthritis is often misdiagnosed, or diagnosed late. The key to effective treatment is early diagnosis and early intervention.

In the past few years, new medications have become available that are incredibly effective for the various manifestations of psoriatic arthritis. Many patients find their lives changed for the better within just a couple of weeks.
—Christopher Ritchlin, M.D., M.P.H.

Stress is a critical issue for psoriasis sufferers, in two important ways. The challenge of dealing with the disease is stressful in itself. But stress might actually be one of the triggers of psoriasis. Therefore, finding effective ways to manage stress is an important aspect of treatment.

Anxiety and depression can often accompany psoriasis. It can also make outbreaks worse. In fact, recent research has shown that depression plays a role in 30% of psoriatic outbreaks. By identifying ways to ease depression, with the help of our doctors, you may be able to improve both your psoriasis symptoms and your quality of life.

Obesity, hypertension and type II diabetes are also observed at a higher frequency in psoriasis patients. In a recent study, obesity was found to be a major risk factor for the onset of psoriasis. Obesity can also contribute to high blood pressure and type II diabetes.

Heart disease may be associated with psoriasis, according to recent research. The genetic factors that cause psoriasis may also lead to cardiovascular disease. Research has found that patients with psoriasis were twice as likely to experience heart attacks. As a result, patients with psoriasis may need to monitor their heart health from an earlier age.

Inflammatory bowel disease can occur in some patients with psoriasis. Some diseases that cause abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, can respond to medications that are also effective against psoriasis.

Eye inflammation, also called uveitis, can occur in up to 20% of psoriasis patients. Symptoms include redness, eye pain and blurry vision. The inflammation is usually in the front of the eye, but occasionally the retina can be involved as well.

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University Dermatology Associates
400 Red Creek Drive
Suite 200
Rochester, NY 14623

Strong Memorial Hospital
601 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, NY 14642