Robin Fleck, M.D.  928-778-7000  Board Certified Dermatologist

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Psoriasis is a chronic, scaly skin condition that affects at least 4 million people in the U.S.  A recent study demonstrated a clear link between smoking and development of psoriasis. Genetic predisposition seems to play an important role in who gets psoriasis.

When the disease is extensive, it can be very difficult to treat and may require newer chemotherapy-like drugs for control: the tumor necrosis factor blockers.  Widespread disease is also more likely to be associated with other serious problems like arthritis or heart disease

Psoriasis, limited to a few patches on the body or scalp, can be treated successfully by your dermatologist with a combination of prescription Dovonex and a topical cortisone cream in about three months.  It's important to stop smoking if you have been diagnosed with psoriasis since this disorder can improve slowly when this habit is curtailed. 

Proper nutrition with avoidance of sweets and alcohol can markedly improve psoriasis. Recent studies point to Vitamin D deficiency in psoriasis patients.  Have your Vitamin D level checked and if it's lower than 30, your doctor will recommend supplementation with oral Vitamin D3.