Ronald N. Shore Dermatology -  - Dermatologist

Ronald N. Shore Dermatology

Dermatologists & Cosmetic Specialists located in Rockville, MD

Psoriasis affects millions of people in the U.S., causing symptoms that can range from mild to severe. Although this skin disease isn’t contagious, the raised, red, scaly patches it causes can result in significant embarrassment in addition to itchiness and irritation. At Ronald N. Shore Dermatology, patients in Rockville, Maryland, receive customized treatment plans focused on their needs and their symptoms so they can control flare-ups and lead healthier, more comfortable lives.


What is psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects about 7.5 million people in the U.S. The condition is characterized by “plaques,” patches of raised, thick, scaly skin that may appear red or silvery. These plaques form when skin cells form and migrate to the skin’s surface at much faster than normal rate. As the cells are produced in the lower layers of the skin, they migrate to the upper layers in a process that normally takes about a month. In people with psoriasis, the growth and migration cycle is sped up, occurring within a period of just a few days. That means new cells reach the skin surface before the old cells have a chance to slough off, creating plaques that represent a “back up” of new and old cells.

Although the specific underlying cause of psoriasis is not known, researchers believe the immune system plays an important role, triggering cell production at an abnormally fast rate.

Is psoriasis contagious?

No, psoriasis cannot be passed from one person to another.

What signs and symptoms does psoriasis produce?

In addition to red, scaly skin plaques, the most common signs and symptoms of psoriasis include:

  • Itching that becomes more intense during flare-ups
  • Pitted or discolored fingernails
  • Crusting or weeping in the affected areas
  • Bleeding when the plaques are scratched or rubbed
  • Swelling and pain in joints, a condition know as psoriatic arthritis

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

In most cases, psoriasis can be diagnosed with a physical exam and a review of the patient’s medical history and symptoms. In a very few cases, a small sample of skin cells may be taken for examination under a microscope. People with a family history of the disease have a greater chance of developing it themselves, and stress, chronic infections, smoking, and obesity also increase the risk for psoriasis.

What treatments are available for psoriasis?

Psoriasis cannot be cured, but there are treatments designed to relieve symptoms and slow the skin cell growth that causes plaque formation. Psoriasis treatment options include:

  • Topical creams or ointments
  • Oral medications to treat the disease systemically
  • Systemic injections
  • Light therapy

*Individual Results May Vary


We accept most major insurance. Please verify your eligibility or coverage with our office or with your insurance company as some of our services are not covered by insurance plans. If you have any questions, please call our office. We'd be happy to help you.

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