Psoriasis is a common chronic skin disease found in 2-3% of the general population. It typically causes red scaly rashes of the elbows and knees, but it can affect any location on the body. It can have major psychological effects on patients since they may become extremely self conscious and isolated because of their disease. Besides the psychological effects, psoriasis frequently causes itching and burning and can also be associated with higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. There are many treatment options available to treat psoriasis. Dr. Jordan B. Schwartzberg and Eric Bussear have extensive experience in treating patients from mild psoriasis to severe psoriasis. In addition to creams, they offer patients treatments including narroband UVB light therapy, excimer laser therapy (Pharos™), and systemic/biologic treatments (Enbrel®, Humira®, Stelara®, Taltz®, Cosentyx®, Tremfya®, and Otezla®)
NarrowBand UVB Phototherapy
NarrowBand UVB light Therapy
Ultraviolet light has powerful anti-inflammatory effects on the skin and has been used to treat a variety of skin conditions including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis/eczema, itching, and vitiligo. This therapy involves patients exposing the affected areas on their skin to light during treatments lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes. Patients usually have improvement by 10 treatments, and much more improvement by 20 treatments. This is frequently considered the safest form of "systemic" therapy for psoriasis since there are few side effects. It is also one of the most effective forms of therapy. The cost is typically covered by Medicare and most major commercial insurance plans.
Excimer laser therapy (pharos™)
The Pharos™ is a powerful 308-nm UVB excimer laser for the treatment of difficult-to-treat chronic diseases including psoriasis and vitiligo. Treatments are administered through a handpiece only to the areas of skin affected by psoriasis. Therefore, higher doses of energy can safely be administered compared to whole body phototherapy. This leads to faster improvements. This form of therapy is frequently used for treatment of "stubborn" areas that are difficult to clear. The cost is typically covered by Medicare and most major commercial insurance plans.
Typical Psoriasis Plaque
systemic and biologic psoriasis treatments
There are many systemic medications that can be used for psoriasis including Enbrel®, Humira®, Stelara®, Taltz®, Cosentyx®, Tremfya®, and Otezla®. Jordan B. Schwartzberg, MD and Eric Bussear MPH, PA-C have extensive experience with all of these medications. Most of these medications are administered infrequently through injections which may be given every 3 months or as frequently as weekly. Eric Bussear is a speaker for many of the pharmaceutical companies to teach colleagues about these medications. Patients need a thorough evaluation to see if they are good candidates for one of these forms of therapy.