What Is Psoriasis?


An auto-immune disease, psoriasis may be diagnosed in patients as young as their early teens.

In a recent episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, reality star Kim Kardashian, who is known for her voluptuous curves and beauty, was diagnosed with the chronic skin condition psoriasis. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, this skin condition is the most common autoimmune disease in the US, affecting up to 7.5 million people. Commonly misdiagnosed as a rash or eczema, psoriasis manifests in dry, flaky, often scaly skin that is raised and red. There are many treatments available to keep breakouts in bay, including at home light therapy treatments.

at home levia psoriasis laser treatment before after
Before and After Results of Psoriasis Treatment With Levia At Home Laser Treatment
Image Courtesty of www.thedoctors.com

As seen recently on The Doctors, an at-home light therapy, Levia is a UV light based device that may decrease inflammation and cell turnover that creates the extreme flaking and raised redness. The hand-piece has a fiber optic brush to easily treat harder to reach areas such as the scalp. Recommended usage is every other day or every 2 days and most patients report seeing clearer skin in 2-3 months with sustained clearance of the condition after several months.

More aggressive psoriasis outbreaks may require professional laser treatments. One such device, the XTRAC Velocity also uses a UV light to spot treat psoriasis breakouts. Covered by most insurances, it is recommended that patients get 2 treatments per week for approximately 6 weeks and patients have reported clear skin for up to a year.

Another laser treatment available is the Pharos EX-308 Excimer laser. According to Boca Raton dermatologist Dr Janee Steinberg, "The Excimer is painless, there is no downtime, and treatments are often covered by your insurance. Laser treatments are ideal for difficult to treat areas including the elbows and knees, hands and feet, and scalp."
psoriasis laser treatment before after
Before & After Psoriasis Treatment With Pharos EX-308 Excimer Laser

"The Excimer laser is different from cosmetic lasers that are usually associated with pain during treatment and post-treatment downtime for the patient," describes Dr. Steinberg, "Instead, the Excimer delivers a highly energetic but painless beam of UVB light directly to the psoriasis patches through a handpiece that rests directly on the patient's skin. It features the most advanced optical technology on the market, including an adjustable spot size and guiding aiming beam, to precisely target only the affected skin and spare the surrounding healthy tissue from exposure. There is no downtime for the patients."

Psoriasis cannot be cured but it may be managed. Many factors may be responsible, genetics playing a large role and treatment start from topical and oral steroids, dietary changes to professional laser treatment. When patients experience a psoriasis outbreak, the autoimmune system essentially turns on the body and attacks itself, resulting in the raised red, scaly, itchy, and flaking skin.

Stubborn to treat, there are 5 different types of psoriasis: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic. According to abcnews.com, about 80% of people with the chronic skin condition have plaque psoriasis, similar to that which Kardashian has and will often show up as red, raised patches and typically on the hairline, scalp, knees, elbows and torso but can develop anywhere on the body.

Psoriasis is not contagious and is quite stubborn to treatment. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from psoriasis face discrimination and have been kicked out of public places such as pools and salons.

Members of The National Psoriasis Foundation are thrilled that Kardashian has spoken up about her psoriasis - hoping to garner some positive attention on what can be a socially debilitating disease and letting people who suffer from psoriasis know they're not alone and there is treatment available.