Currently 4% of women enrolled in the Illinois Womens Health Registry suffer from this skin condition that causes itchy or sore red patches of skin with silvery scales.

Psoriasis occurs when the normal life cycle of skin cells is accelerated by the immune system, causing buildup of dead skin cells, which form the thick, silvery scale-like appearance.  There are several types of psoriasis, the most common of which include Plaque Psoriasis, causing the red, scaly lesions; Scalp Psoriasis; Nail Psoriasis, causing abnormal nail growth; and Psoriatic Arthritis, causing stiffness and progressive joint damage.  For many people, psoriasis is just a nuisance, however patients usually seek medical advice if their psoriasis causes discomfort and pain, interferes with daily tasks, or causes concern about the appearance of skin.  There is no cure for psoriasis, but many treatments exist to interrupt the overproduction of skin cells and to provide significant relief.

Resources at Northwestern for Psoriasis:

Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Department of Dermatology offers state-of-the-art treatment options for dermatology conditions such as psoriasis.  The department also provides cosmetic treatments to patients with various dermatological symptoms.  Treatment options include laser surgery, microdermabrasion, camouflage makeup, skin peels and phototherapy (PUVA).

http://www.nmh.org/nmh/specialtiesandservices/medicalspecialties/dermatology/main.htm

The Department of Dermatology at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine runs a Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Clinic on Tuesday mornings.  The clinic is headed by Prashant Singri, MD from dermatology and by Eric Ruderman, MD from Rheumatology.  The clinic is ideal for patients with both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact the clinic at 312-695-8106.

Northwestern Physicians/Researchers Specializing in Psoriasis Treatment:
The Department of Dermatology at Feinberg School of Medicine has active areas of laboratory and clinical outcomes research.  Nearly all of the clinical faculty in the department serve as principle investigators in clinical trials.  Dr. Amy Paller, Chair of the Northwestern Department of Dermatology and Professor of Pediatrics conducts laboratory research related to Psoriasis and other hyper-proliferative skin disorders.  Also conducting research involving psoriasis is Dr. Prashant Singri, head of the Psoriasis clinic.

IWHR Highlighted Researcher
Dr. Anne Laumann, MBChB, MRCP (UK), FAAD is an Associate Professor of Dermatology in the Feinberg School of Medicine.  She is an active member of many dermatology organizations including the American Academy of Dermatology, the Society of Investigative Dermatology, the Scleroderma Foundation, the Vitiligo Foundation, and the Psoriasis Foundation.  Dr. Laumann is the principal investigator on a number of clinical trials related to Raynaud’s phenomenon, psoriasis, and itching. Currently she is conducting clinical trials to evaluate the use of different medications for the treatment of active secondary Raynaud’s disease. She is the local principal investigator in a study studying the outcome and safety of the use of infliximab and golimumab in patients with chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.  This study is a multicenter, prospective, 8-year surveillance study involving patients on biologics.

Useful Links and Resources:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/psoriasis.html
http://www.psoriasis.org/

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Comments

You bring up a good point Candace. Although Psoriasis is not really a 'women's' condition (it does effect both sexes equally), I think that women are often more likely to feel emotional and psychological effects of skin conditions. This is not to say that men can't feel self-conscious about their appearance, but I think women are often expected to have soft, clean skin whereas many men really pull off the rugged, unshaven, unmoisturized look.

Good point, I'm always incredibly jealous that men can grow a beard to cover their acne. I'd love to grow a beard! Ok, not really, but you know what I mean. Our lab MD said that there are really good medications out there now for psoriasis. Is it pretty much curable, or is it kind of just a chronic condition that you have to do your best to deal with?

That picture is pretty gross, Michelle. Oh hey, I know that my favorite skin condition, acne of doom, is affected my femaleness, any idea about psoriasis? Also, I think I just self-diagnosed some psoriasis on my elbow. Good job, blog!

From what I understand psoriasis is only treatable, not curable. There are a variety of topical treatments, oral treatments, and light therapies. I do not think that diet plays a large role in the severity of psoriasis, but lifestyle changes such as moisturization and frequent bathing can help.

Wow, it's pretty rare to see someone put things into perspective the way you just did. I wish that other bloggers and people that post content to the web would take a page from your book! Do you have any other sites that I could visit or could you possibly make a recommendation as to where I might be able to find some more information? Either way, thanks for an excellent resource and I look forward to being a repeat reader!

Thanks Ryan! I hope you continue to read our blog as we are constantly posting more information - mostly on women's health but much of it has implications for both men and women. If you are looking for more information on psoriasis, I recommend Mayo's website http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/psoriasis/DS00193 and www.psoriasis.org. Please keep reading and posting!

I didn't found any info for certain special medication for these kind of skin problem. However I think we can treat the condition by balanced the skin's cell reproduction with the activities that can caused our skin's cell dead faster too... just my opinion..

Wow, that really looks scary but surely you can do something about. I know that Aloe Vera is a good natural healer but I would visit a specialist to really get that looked at. I also think the people who are inflicted with this problem should a preliminary put an ointment to stop itching. Itching is one of those feelings that really feel just great.

I have seen my condition improve since I went for an allergy test and discovered I am allergic Lactose in cows milk and Soya.I have cut these out my diet and 5 weeks later my lumps and blisters have reduced by estimate 80 per cent.

This is great information for psoriasis sufferers and August is the perfect month to bring awareness to this skin condition, just before the fall when psoriasis seems to insight a flare up. I have a daughter that sufferers from eczema. While it's a bit different than psoriasis, both of these skin conditions can be embarrassing and emotionally (in addition to physically) taxing.

Ouch, gross photo - but a very useful article. A friend treated psoriasis with the Vitamin D3 Cholcalciferol BUT he was also avoiding the sun. Frankly, his results were so-so...

I have read many different stories on whether or not Vitamin D is good for Psoriasis. From oral supplements to Vit D skin creams, the arguments are both for and against. The light therapy is an interesting angle because of course the best source of Vit D is UVB light. Altogether it doesn't sound like much is at risk if you take Vit D, orally or topically, and see if there is a positive effect?

That's what I assume as well, as long as supplementing a balanced diet with additional Vitamin D intake doesn't cause any mayor health risks, it might not be a bad idea to test if there are benefits in regard to psoriasis?

Yes, every August is psoriasis awareness month (sorry it took so long to answer that). My question is regarding antioxidants and skin. Since antioxidants are put in so many skin creams and anti-aging serums, there must be some evidence they aid skin. Have their been any antioxidant and psoriasis studies?

The treatments microdermabrasie and skin peels, aren't those the same? What's the difference?

Sue and Warren: You are correct that Vitamin D may help with psoriasis. However, it is important to note that the CORRECT form of Vitamin D3, called Cholcalciferol, is imperative to produce any results. Much research has been done recently about the benefits of vitamin D and of course, natural sunlight is still the best. But if the decision is made to supplement your intake, be cautious to use only the highest quality vitamin D.

The worse thing with this condition is having it on your own children! adults can take care of themselves and have high chances of getting well fast, how bout your kids? who still have their immune system developing and such?

To answer the E.Verton question, no, not really. Peels are more invasive, especially if you do a chemical peel, which has numerous side effects.

Psoriasis is simply the worst but it is great to know that there is at least one month a year when this chronic skin condition is recognized

Great information. I had Psoriasis and was able to get rid of it with the help of my dermatologist and some cream that she recommended. I have to admit mine was not nearly as bad as that picture you used for this article though. Mine was a mild case.

Yeah Psoriasis and acne are really obvious skin ailments that are difficult to deal with. There is the possibility that psoriasis is related to arthritis as my wife found out. She developed very bad arthritis in her 40's but was able to overcome it with treatment and positive attitude. It appears she was "lucky" and they put it down to psoriasis due to family history.

Good post about Psoriasis. Stress is also a trigger for psoriasis which I guess can lead to more stress about getting stressed. I have seen worse pictures, some people can get cracked or bleeding skin from it.

I recently had psoriasis crop up on my back and am struggling with it. I'm online looking for solutions and am striking out. :-(

I had a boyfriend who had psoriasis that I could relate to because I have eczema. Even though the two are different, the emotional toll it takes is the same.

I read two good ways to help psoriasis is oily fish in the diet and and sunlight? Both rich in vitamin D. Any views?

psoriasis has to be one of the more uncomfortable pains for my elbows and knees. this time of year is when I find it is the worst (January-February) Are there specific issues I should be concerned about when it comes to this colder, drier air?

Psoriasis can have a very negative impact on the life of anyone, whether your male or female. My brother-in-law has suffered with this for years. He's so self conscious of these great scaly patches on his elbows that he wears long sleeves year round, even on cruises which he and my sister love. It's also painful and causes him to bend his arms slowly, which also makes him self-conscious. None of the medications he's tried has worked for him for any length of time. It's really an awful disease.

I suffer from psorasis and have had eczema my whole life. It is very frustrating and uncomfortable as I am still trying to work out was is the cause of them. Great article!

It is hard to find good articles such as this one about Psoriasis. This website offers a lot of really great content, thank you for sharing. I will have to check it out more often.

As medical estheticians, we see patients with many types of skin conditions. Of them all, psoriasis seems to be the condition that causes the most embarrassment for women. Acne also is a huge source of embarrassment, but overall is easier to treat, and people also know it's not contagious. Sadly, many people simply assume by the look of psoriasis that it is a contagious condition. It's sad that there are so many misconceptions about this skin problem. While there's still no cure, it's nice to see a month dedicated to raising awareness for this condition that causes so much frustration for so many people.

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