By Dr. Stacy Chimento, Dermatologist
So you’ve been diagnosed with Psoriasis.
As a sufferer of an autoimmune condition myself called ankylosing spondylitis (autoimmune condition that attacks the sacroiliac joints), Dr. Stacy Chimento adds “I can understand the frustration and complexity of these conditions. Many of us are in the same boat, working moms, professionals, just trying to live normal lives while coping with autoimmune conditions. The good news is we are in an era where medicine has advanced significantly.”
What Exactly is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that affects over 7.5 million people in the United States. The body starts attacking the healthy skin cells or even joints via a very complex immunological process.
Cells start to multiply significantly and accumulate on the surface of the skin, creating large thick white silvery scaly plaques often with pinpoint bleeding. Occasional itching can occur as well.
Common areas affected are the knees, elbows, hands, feet and scalp although more severe cases can occur all over the trunk and extremities.
Early Signs of Psoriasis
Can include the development of a scaly rash on the body or scalp and joint pain in common areas such as the hands, feet or even spine.
About 7% of people with psoriatic arthritis develop uveitis, which is inflammation of the inner area of the eye. While in the majority of cases the cause is unknown, approximately 10% of people inherit genes that predispose them to developing the disorder.
Common triggers include elevated stress, recent infections such as strept throat, medications, excessive alcohol or cigarette consumption, and other existing autoimmune conditions.
Although psoriasis is a chronic condition, there are so many new and advanced treatment options that can allow you to live freely with psoriasis.
“The first thing I tell my patients is to try and not stress about it, as this is one of the top contributors. This is often easier said than done, but the good news is we can treat it! “
Current Treatment Options Available,
- topical steroid creams
- vitamin D analog creams
- topical immunomodulator creams, and
Systemic treatments have come a very long way which now include oral Otezla and injectable biologicals such as Humira, Enbrel, Skyrizi, Stelara, and Tremfya to name a few.
These medications work by blocking specific inflammatory proteins in the body that attack the skin cells and joints. “While the majority of my patients are deathly afraid to start these medications, I can reassure you that they are safe and effective. In fact I have been taking Cosyntex biological injections for years now, which is also another medication that can be used for psoriasis.” says Dr. Stacy, a Board Certified Dermatologist in the highly coveted Bay Harbor Islands in the Miami area.
She continues to add “I too was afraid at first despite my medical knowledge of my condition and the safeness of this medication.” While it can take a few weeks to months to see the improvement in the skin and joints, these are the best medications on the market.
Living with psoriasis should not be overwhelming and getting treatment and attacking it early is some of the best advice, Dr Stacy say she can give to patients.
- Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Reducing stressors
- Eating a healthy balanced diet
- Staying active is the key to beating psoriasis. Some of my favorite exercises for psoriatic arthritis include Yoga, Pilates and swimming.
- There is some evidence that meditation, acupuncture and anti-inflammatory diets can assist with symptoms.
Being a nationally recognized expert resource in medical and cosmetic dermatology she continues, “From a beauty and social perspective, it is a struggle to live with skin conditions in a day and age where everyone strives to be perfect.” If only more of us could come together to show the world the truth, that beauty is from within and that true beauty has imperfections. We need to learn to love ourselves for who we are.
With added bonus of many years of experience specializing in laser, cosmetic, surgical and aesthetic dermatology she has come to a conclusion that “Whether psoriatic plaques, acne, or vitiligo, these are just beautiful decorations that do not define us. I often try to remind myself that I won’t let my arthritis stop me from enjoying my family and the things I love. I think it’s time we all show social media what REAL beauty and strength is!”
Dr. Stacy Chimento is a Board Certified Dermatologist. She has many years of experience specializing in laser, cosmetic, surgical and aesthetic dermatology. Her reputation as an expert in her field has grown alongside a distinguished clientele that includes industry leaders, heads of state, entertainers, athletes and international beauty moguls.
Dr. Chimento is nationally recognized as an expert resource in medical and cosmetic dermatology and is regularly featured in broadcast media outlets and magazines such as New Beauty, Allure, Haute beauty, and Southern living to name a few. Her knowledge of the latest and greatest techniques in injectable aesthetics and lasers has made her a nationally sought out speaker and trainer for other providers for Galderma and Candela Laser Corporation.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.