Manhattan Dermatology Specialists
  • MIDTOWN 56 W 45TH ST, STE 819 New York, NY 10036
  • UPPER EAST SIDE 983 PARK AVE, STE 1D1 New York, NY 10028
  • UNION SQUARE 55 W. 17TH ST STE 103 New York, NY 10011

Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque Psoriasis · Dermatologist NYCPlaque psoriasis is a condition wherein patches of red, irritated skin with a silvery scaly top layer appear on parts of your body. There are seven other kinds of psoriasis, but plaque psoriasis is the most common form, affecting two to three percent of the population in the United States. It commonly occurs with other diseases — such as other autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. But it can occur on its own and maybe genetic.

Plaque psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune response leading to inflammation and overactive cell growth. Normal skin takes about a month to regenerate new skin cells and shed old skin, but with plaque psoriasis, new skin can be created and pushed to the surface in as little as four days. Your body can’t shed skin that fasts and ends up with patches of old skin piled up on new skin. These thick, inflamed, red, itchy, flaky, and sometimes painful patches of skin growth are called plaques. Plaques most commonly occur on your scalp, elbows, and knees, but can also be found on your torso, palms, and bottoms of your feet.

Plaque psoriasis is a chronic condition that can affect you for just a couple of years or for your entire life. It may present on a consistent basis, or it can come and go as flare-ups. Plaque psoriasis doesn’t go away on its own; it requires medical treatment. The longer you leave symptoms untreated, the more difficult it’ll be to get your plaque psoriasis under control. If you think you may have plaque psoriasis, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist in Manhattan as soon as you can.

Plaque psoriasis should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan as it may be a symptom or sign of a serious illness or condition.

Symptoms of Plaque Psoriasis

The symptoms of plaque psoriasis can differ from person to person and on how intense your flare-up may be. Your NYC dermatologist can diagnose it easily enough, though. The common skin symptoms of plaque psoriasis include:

  • Skin dryness
  • Red patches on your skin
  • Flakiness
  • Peeling skin
  • Cracking or splitting skin
  • Increased thickness in specific areas
  • Silver or white scaly skin
  • Small red bumps

These symptoms can be uncomfortable and even painful. The plaques are also distracting and can be embarrassing. Often, psoriasis leads to self-confidence or esteem issues. Other symptoms you may experience with plaque psoriasis include:

  • Depression
  • Joint pain or stiffness
  • Itchy skin
  • Inflamed tendons
  • nail changes

You can have a plaque psoriasis outbreak for a number of reasons, including stress. To help with a more definitive diagnosis, track the conditions that are going on when your attacks occur. Also, keep a journal of the emotions you may be undergoing when the flare-up happens. Armed with this information, your skin doctor can better gauge your own personal triggers and create a better treatment plan designed for your individual needs.

Plaque Psoriasis Causes

The causes of psoriasis are still not completely understood. For some, it may be a genetic disease, as about eight percent of sufferers report family members with the same condition. For others, it may occur spontaneously.

There are also a number of environmental factors that are known to trigger plaque psoriasis flares, including:

  • Medications such as lithium, beta-blockers, chloroquine, Indocin, and ACE inhibitorsPollution
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Trauma to your skin

Finally, some psychological conditions are thought to trigger flare-ups as well:

  • Psychological stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood disorders
  • Physical stress

Because there are so many factors that can trigger plaque psoriasis outbreaks and flare-ups, you can benefit from keeping a detailed journal of anything that triggers your psoriasis. Discuss them with your NYC dermatologist at your appointment. Your doctor can diagnose psoriasis and help you spot common causes while controlling your symptoms.

Diagnosing and Treating Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is not something you can self-diagnose or treat on your own with over-the-counter medications. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, make an appointment with your dermatologist in Manhattan as soon as possible for the best chance at keeping the condition manageable.

Additionally, the treatments may be a combination of the options available to you. You’ll need to be carefully monitored for side effects. Treatment options for plaque psoriasis include:

  • Topical creams: These creams and ointments include retinoids, coal tar products, anthralin, vitamin D creams, and corticosteroids.
  • Light therapy: Don’t mistake this for using tanning beds — they’ll make your psoriasis worse. Light therapy uses clinical applications of UV light to treat plaque psoriasis and must be administered by a trained dermatologist.
  • Retinoids: Taken orally, these are high dosages of vitamin A, prescribed in severe cases. They cannot be taken if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant.
  • Methotrexate: This prescription drug suppresses your immune system. Only for serious cases of plaque psoriasis, it carries the risk of liver damage and should be only used under the direct supervision of your dermatologist. Methortrexate cannot be taken if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant.
  • Cyclosporine: Another immune suppressant, this drug helps slow down the rapid cell growth and quickly relieves irritating symptoms. Cyclosporin cannot be taken if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant.
  • Otezla is an oral medication prescribed by your dermatologist. It’s used for both severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It works by inhibiting an enzyme that causes inflammation in your skin cells. Unlike some other systemic treatments for psoriasis, Otezla does not suppress immune function.
  • Biological response modifiers: These are injections made from proteins meant to target the immune pathway involved in the development of psoriasis. Again, they’re for serious plaque psoriasis problems.
  • Combination therapy: More often than not, your dermatologist in New York prescribes a combination of the therapies listed here to combat your plaque psoriasis.

There are many more options for treating plaque psoriasis. These are merely the most commonly prescribed options. Get a more in-depth look at all plaque psoriasis treatments. Book a consultation with your best dermatologist in New York today. After a diagnosis of plaque psoriasis, your dermatologist can help you decide which treatments can best get your plaque psoriasis symptoms under control while working to prevent flare-ups in the future.

Plaque psoriasis should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan as it may be a symptom or sign of a serious illness or condition.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not definitive medical advice. Please consult dermatologist NYC about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified dermatology doctor or pediatric dermatologist could determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Updated on Mar 7, 2023 by Dr. Susan Bard (Dermatologist), Manhattan Dermatology Specialists Locations: Manhattan Dermatology (Upper East Side) 983 Park Ave, Ste 1D1, NY 10028
(212) 427-8750
Manhattan Dermatology (Midtown) 56 W 45th St, Ste 819, NY 10036
(212) 889-2402
Manhattan Dermatology (Union Square) 55 W 17th St, Ste 103, NY 10011
(212) 378-9984
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY The information on this website is to provide general information. The information on this website does NOT reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a physician for a consultation and examination regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs you may be having. An accurate diagnosis and treatment plan should only be made by your physician in order to exclude a serious condition.
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