Psoriasis: Everything You Need to Know

Psoriasis: Everything You Need to Know

by Richard Langley


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781554070930
Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
Publication date: 10/01/2005
Series: Your Personal Health Series
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Dr. Richard Langley is assistant professor of dermatology and director of research at Dalhousie University. An international expert on psoriasis and skin cancer, he has co-authored ten books and many articles and abstracts.

Table of Contents


  1. Skin: Our Largest Organ
    • Normal Skin
    • Our Skin as a House
  2. What Is Psoriasis?
    • Signs and Symptoms
    • Types of Psoriasis
  3. What Causes Psoriasis?
    • The Immune System
    • Immunology for Everyone
    • Who Is Most at Risk?
  4. Diagnosis of Psoriasis
    • How is Psoriasis Diagnosed?
    • Distinguishing Psoriasis from Other Conditions
  5. Psoriatic Arthritis
    • What Causes Psoriatic Arthritis?
    • Whom Does It Affect?
    • What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis?
    • What is the Relationship between the Severity of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis?
    • How Is Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnosed?
    • How Is Psoriatic Arthritis Treated?
  6. Psoriasis in Children
    • What Does Psoriasis Look Like in Children?
    • What Else Can Look Like Psoriasis in Children?
    • Treatment for Children
    • Practical Tips for Treating Psoriasis in Babies and Infants
    • Managing Your Child's Psoriasis at School and at Home
  7. The Psychosocial Effect of Psoriasis
    • Quality of Life
    • Stephen's Story: A Personal
    • Psoriasis Disability Index

  8. Introduction to Treatment Approaches
  9. Topical Therapies
    • Components / Ingredients of Topicals
    • How Much Are You Supposed to Use?
    • Moisturizers
    • Topical Steroids
    • Coal Tar
    • Anthralin
    • Vitamin D Analogue - Calcipotriol
    • Calcineurin Inhibitors (Non-steroidal Therapies)
    • Tazarotene
  10. Light Therapy
    • Ultraviolet B Light Therapy
    • Psoralen Ultraviolet A Light Therapy
  11. Systemic Therapies
    • Methotrexate (MTX)
    • Cyclosporine
    • Oral Retinoids
  12. Biologic Therapies
    • How Do Biologics Work?
    • Tumor Necrosis Factor-α
  13. Final Thoughts
    • Increased Understanding of the Causes of Psoriasis
    • Genetics and Pharmacogenomics
    • Final Thoughts

    Table of Drug Names
    Further Reources



Psoriasis, originating from the Greek word psora (meaning "to itch"), is a chronic, incurable, non-contagious skin disease. For centuries, psoriasis was confused with leprosy. Because of the failure to differentiate between these diseases, people with psoriasis could experience humiliation and abandonment by their family and community.

In the 19th century, Drs. Hebra and Kaposi, realized leprosy was different from psoriasis and helped classify the latter as a distinct medical disease. Since then, scientists have been trying to find the root cause of the disease, effective and safe treatments, and, most importantly, a cure.

Affecting approximately 1 to 3 percent of the population, psoriasis is one of the most common skin disorders. It can appear at any age and is one of the most common reasons for office visits to dermatologists.

dermatologist is a doctor who has undergone extensive specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases after completing medical school. Dermatologists are experts in diagnosing and treating diseases of the skin, hair and nails such as psoriasis. Many psoriasis patients are either unsatisfied or frustrated with their treatments given that psoriasis is currently an incurable disease that can return after treatment. It is hoped that this book will provide some help and guidance to these patients, and outline some of the promising new treatments for psoriasis.

In the past decade, scientists have gained a better understanding of the disease process of psoriasis. As such, new specific, rational therapies have been and are being developed, and there is reason for great hope that these therapies will effectively treat patients. We and others have participated in international clinical research trials that have studied new, safe, highly targeted and effective therapies that are providing new choices for patients in the management of this disease. These therapeutic agents are now finding their way into the clinic and to patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

This guide will help educate you, your family and others about psoriasis. In addition, you will gain greater insight into and understanding of the nature of the disease, its potential treatments, and their benefits and risks. Ultimately, this information will enable those affected to effectively deal with their disease and thereby attain a better quality of life.

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