San Francisco Dermatology

Dermatologists located in Union Square, San Francisco, CA

Though it has no cure, the right treatment can help keep psoriasis, a chronic skin condition, under control. At San Francisco Dermatology in downtown San Francisco near Union Square, Michael J. Dans, MD, PhD and Mark Reisman, MD, provide comprehensive and personalized care for psoriasis. Book an appointment online through the patient portal or call the office to learn how he can help you manage psoriasis.

Psoriasis Q & A

What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a dermatologic condition that causes your skin cells to build up more quickly than normal. This buildup can cause itchy, scaly, red patches of skin on different areas of your body. Other symptoms of psoriasis may include:

  • Dry skin
  • Cracked skin that bleeds
  • Soreness or burning sensations in the skin
  • Thick fingernails and toenails
  • Swollen joints

You may only experience psoriasis symptoms during flare-ups and then go months without any symptoms at all. 

What causes psoriasis?

Doctors don’t fully understand the cause of psoriasis. However, it is considered an autoimmune condition in which your immune system attacks healthy cells. You may develop psoriasis because of genetics or because of something within your environment.

Experts believe that in people with psoriasis, skin cells behave as if they are trying to heal a wound or infection. This causes new skin cells to grow rapidly, in days instead of weeks, causing the buildup and scaliness.

You may be at higher risk of psoriasis if you smoke, are obese, or have a family history of the condition.

How is psoriasis treated?

The team at San Francisco Dermatology offers comprehensive treatment for psoriasis. In most patients with mild to moderate psoriasis, Dr. Dans and Dr. Reisman prescribe lotions or ointments such as:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Synthetic vitamin D
  • Retinoids
  • Anthralin
  • Salicylic acid
  • Calcineurin inhibitors
  • Moisturizers

When used as directed, these lotions can help fight flare-ups, smooth away scaliness and dead skin cells, and reduce skin inflammation.

If you have more severe psoriasis, you may also benefit from ultraviolet (UV) light therapy. During light therapy, you sit under UVA or UVB lights for a specified period of time. Regular, safe exposure to light therapy can improve your skin health and decrease flare-ups.

You may also benefit from pills or injections that reduce immune system activity and decrease inflammation. However, these medicines can have serious side effects, so they’re only recommended for people with severe psoriasis.

Dr. Dans and Dr. Reisman can help you find the right psoriasis treatment for you. Book an appointment online through the patient portal or call the office to find the help you need.