Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Psoriasis facts
- What is psoriasis?
- What are causes and risk factors of psoriasis?
- Can psoriasis affect my joints?
- Can psoriasis affect only my nails?
- What are psoriasis symptoms and signs? What does psoriasis look like?
- How do health-care professionals diagnose psoriasis?
- How many people have psoriasis?
- Is there a cure for psoriasis?
- Is psoriasis contagious?
- Is psoriasis hereditary?
- What kind of doctor treats psoriasis?
- What is the treatment for psoriasis?
- What creams, lotions, and home remedies are available for psoriasis?
- What oral medications are available for psoriasis?
- What injections or infusions are available for psoriasis?
- What about light therapy for psoriasis?
- Where can people get more information on psoriasis?
- Is there a national psoriasis support group?
- What is the long-term prognosis with psoriasis? What are complications of psoriasis?
- What does the future hold for psoriasis?
- Pictures of Psoriasis - Slideshow
- Take the Psoriasis Quiz
- Psoriasis FAQs
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
What are causes and risk factors of psoriasis?
The exact cause remains unknown. There may be a combination of risk factors, including genetic predisposition and environmental factors. It is common for psoriasis to be found in members of the same family. Defects in the immune system are thought to play a major role. Despite research over the past 30 years looking at many triggers, the "master switch" that turns on psoriasis is still a mystery.
Can psoriasis affect my joints?
Yes, psoriasis is associated with joint problems in about 10%-35% of patients. In fact, sometimes joint pains may be the only sign of the disorder with completely clear skin. The joint disease associated with psoriasis is referred to as psoriatic arthritis. Patients may have inflammation of any joints (arthritis), although the joints of the hands, knees, and ankles tend to be most commonly affected. Psoriatic arthritis is an inflammatory, destructive form of arthritis and is treated with medications to stop the disease progression. The average age for onset of psoriatic arthritis is 30-40 years of age. In most cases, the skin symptoms occur before the onset of the arthritis.
Can psoriasis affect only my nails?
Yes, psoriasis may involve solely the nails in a limited number of patients. Usually, the nail signs accompany the skin and arthritis symptoms. Nail psoriasis is typically very difficult to treat. Treatment options are somewhat limited and include potent topical steroids applied at the nail-base cuticle, injection of steroids at the nail-base cuticle, and oral or systemic medications as described below for the treatment of psoriasis.
Viewers share their comments
Find out what women really need.