World-Class Psoriasis Treatment
The Psoriasis Treatment Center of Central New Jersey provides relief through Ultraviolet Light and other innovative therapies.
Windsor Dermatology is the home of the Psoriasis Treatment Center of Central New Jersey, the state’s first complete facility for advanced psoriasis clinical research. Since 1985 our Medical Director, Dr. Bagel, has been at the forefront of psoriasis patient care, treatment and clinical research, making the Center and Windsor Dermatology one of the most respected clinical settings in America for psoriasis treatment.
Psoriasis is a non-contagious, chronic skin condition which affects 2% of the population, about 7.5 million Americans. Psoriasis is the nation’s most prevalent immunological disease and requires sophisticated medical intervention and treatment. In psoriasis, skin cells grow and multiply at a hyperactive rate. The underlying cause appears to be immune mediated. Many patients of the Psoriasis Treatment Center of Central NJ are members of the National Psoriasis Foundation, which has outstanding resources for patients and their caregivers regarding the disease and its treatment.
Although there is currently no cure for psoriasis, many effective treatments are available. Treatments for Psoriasis are much better than what we had 10 years ago. However, there can be substantial variation between individuals in the effectiveness of specific psoriasis therapies. In selecting an appropriate treatment method, our dermatologists consider the location and severity of involvement along with the patient’s medical history.
In June 2018, Dr. Bagel received the prestigious National Psoriasis Foundation Excellence in Leadership award for his dedication to psoriasis.
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Topical corticosteroids remain the first line therapy for mild to moderate psoriasis. There are various strengths of topical strengths of topical steroids ranging from class 1 (strongest) to class 6 (weakest). Prolonged use of the stronger topical steroids is not recommended for greater than 2 weeks at a time, and not to be used on face, axilla, groin, under breast because they can result in thinning of the skin i.e. stretch marks.
Topical calcineurin inhibitors do not act as quickly as topical corticosteroids however they do not cause skin thinning, so they can be used on more sensitive areas.
Ultraviolet Light Therapy
Present in natural sunlight, ultraviolet light has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can clear psoriasis from the skin. UVB (ultraviolet B) penetrates the skin and slows the growth of affected skin cells. Phototherapy treatments are performed three times per week, and most patients become clear after 10 weeks.* In order to accommodate our patients’ busy schedules, treatment sessions are available as early as 6 am, as late as 5 pm and on Saturdays. Treatments are safely administered by licensed medical professionals. The cost is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans.
Several forms of phototherapy are available. The type selected is determined by the severity and location of the patient’s psoriasis as well as the patient’s medical history.
Different Types of Light Therapy
- Narrowband UVB: This treatment is safe, highly effective and drug-free. The patient stands in a specially designed cabinet containing UVB light tubes. The affected areas of the body are exposed to the UVB for a short time (from seconds to minutes). The effects generally become noticeable after seven to ten treatments.* A typical course is thirty-six prescriptions. Narrowband UVB has no increased risk of skin cancer.
- PUVA (Psoriasis Ultraviolet A): Prior to treatment, patients ingest a photosensitizer tablet. Seventy-five minutes later, the patient stands in a specially designed cabinet containing UVA bulbs, and the affected areas of the body are exposed to the UVA for a short time. Windsor Dermatology has two PUVA units for greater patient convenience in scheduling treatment.
- Hand/Foot PUVA and UVB: PUVA and narrowband UVB treatments can be delivered in a targeted manner for patients with psoriasis or eczema of the hands and/or feet, sparing unaffected areas.
- Excimer Laser: Laser Treatment with the PHAROS EX-308 laser delivers concentrated, high-dose ultraviolet B treatment to psoriatic plaques. Because treatment is limited only to affected areas, the laser may safely deliver higher treatment doses than conventional UVB, leading to faster clearance of the psoriasis. Laser treatment for psoriasis is covered by most major insurance plans.
Biologic Therapies for Psoriasis
Biologic Agents offer hope to those who haven’t had success with other approaches or were uncomfortable with the potential side effects of older systemic medications. Biologic agents are administered by injection. Different from traditional systemic drugs that impact the entire immune system, biologics target specific parts of the immune system. They treat psoriasis by reducing inflammation in the skin and elsewhere in the body. These medicines are intended to treat patients with moderate to severe psoriasis and patients with psoriatic arthritis. Selection of a specific agent is based on the patient’s medical history, the presence or absence of psoriatic arthritis, and other factors. Biologic agents which we prescribe include:
- Enbrel: Enbrel is self-injected by patients in the convenience of their home. It is intended for long-term, continuous use by persons with moderate to severe psoriatic skin disease or persons with psoriatic arthritis.
- Humira: Humira is self-injected by patients in the convenience of their home. It is intended for long-term, continuous use by persons with moderate to severe psoriatic skin disease or persons with psoriatic arthritis.
- Stelara: Stelara is injected by a health care provider once every three months. It is intended for long-term, continuous use by persons with moderate to severe psoriasis or with psoriatic arthritis.
- Cosentyx: Cosentyx is self-injected by patients in the convenience of their home every month. It is intended for long-term, continuous use by persons with moderate to severe psoriasis or with psoriatic arthritis.
- Taltz: Taltz is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Taltz is self-injected every 4 weeks from the comfort of your own home.
- Tremfya: Tremfya is self-injected by patients in the convenience of their home. It is intended for long-term, continuous use by persons with moderate to severe psoriatic skin disease.
Oral Medications for Psoriasis
- Soriatane: This oral agent is a modified form of vitamin A. Taken daily, it reduces the thickness of psoriatic plaques. It may be used alone, but usually works best when combined with phototherapy or topical therapy.
- Methotrexate: This oral medication is taken once weekly and highly effective for the treatment of psoriasis. Today it is used less often due to its potential to cause undesirable side effects and the availability of safer alternatives. Nevertheless, we offer Methotrexate treatment in limited circumstances.
- Neoral (cyclosporine): This is a fast-acting, highly potent medication originally created to prevent the body from rejecting transplanted organs. Despite its efficacy, it is used less commonly today for psoriasis due to its potential to cause undesirable side effects and the availability of safer alternatives. Nevertheless, we offer Neoral treatment in limited circumstances.
- Otezla: A pill you take once in the morning and once at night. Otezla is not a biologic, an injection, or a cream. Otzela is approved to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Otezla works from inside the body to help reduce inflammation. It is also approved for the treatment of adults with active psoriatic arthritis.
*Individual Results May Vary