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Posts for tag: Psoriasis

By Mark Fisher MD
November 02, 2021
Category: Rheumatologist
Tags: Psoriasis  

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease and is a chronic inflammatory skin condition. It can cause the formation of elevated and thickened skin lesions known as plaques with redness or erythema. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, it is linked to an autoimmune system response that causes this inflammation, causing fresh skin cells to be produced much more quickly, and older skin cells to be shed much more slowly. It can be associated with genetics and family history of this condition.

While there is no current cure for this condition, it can be very effectively managed to control the active inflammation and flares or outbreaks. At Mark Fisher, MD FACR in Haddon Heights and South Jersey, our Rheumatologist Dr. Mark Fisher can recommend a personalized psoriasis management plan that may include certain medications to control this condition very effectively.

How Psoriasis is Controlled and Treated

You can live a comfortable and active life. An effective management plan can be customized to your state of psoriasis that usually begins with your primary physician or Dermatologist.  The initial program frequently includes topical creams or ointments. These often contain steroids, Vitamin D derivatives, and other medications. Light programs with your Dermatologist can be helpful.

If this fails to manage psoriasis effectively, other injectable treatments known as biologics can be used, and these have been shown to be the most effective agents at the present time. These can be administered or recommended by your Dermatologist or Rheumatologist. Some of these agents can be administered by self-injection subcutaneously, or by your Rheumatologist intravenously. Dr. Mark Fisher has been doing such procedures for his psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients for many years now. This has made huge differences in patients’ lives. 

Of course, patients must be aware of the adverse risks of these medications including infection. Appropriate assessments to reduce such risks should be undertaken, and these may include laboratory testing and preventive vaccines. 

It is really important to try and control this systemic illness to reduce the risks for further complications. Many such patients may develop psoriatic arthritis affecting many joints, and this can be similar to aggressive arthritis seen in Rheumatoid Arthritis with pain, swelling, and potentially very destructive arthritis. If not treated early and effectively with these agents, joint damage and deformity can develop.

Lifestyle adjustments and supportive but not definitive therapies can also include:

  • Avoid skin exposure to dry and cold conditions
  • Refrain from alcohol
  • Avoid skin injuries
  • Adequate rest and eating a balanced diet that will keep your immune system strong
  • Avoid excess exposure to the sun and coverups and sunscreens to prevent sunburn
  • Stop smoking
  • Managing your stress levels
  • Phototherapy and topicals as referenced above for treating early and mild psoriasis rashes
  • Other medications can include:  Antihistamines for reducing itchiness
  • Antifungal medications or antibiotics for treating secondary fungal or bacterial infections

Finally, further complications from uncontrolled psoriasis can be serious and usually prevented.  These may include psoriatic arthritis, secondary fungal or bacterial infections resulting from the breaks in the skin, and inflammation from psoriasis. 

Early diagnosis and proper current state-of-the-art medical care can be very effective in minimizing and protecting you from the additional risks of developing these complications and related conditions.

If you need or would like more information on Treating and Managing Your Psoriasis, please contact us.

Schedule an appointment with Mark Fisher MD FACR, our Board Certified Rheumatologist in Haddon Heights, NJ,  and treating patients all over South Jersey, by dialing (856) 547-8004. 

New patients are welcome and our in-office infusion center welcomes you if such services are indicated.

By Mark Fisher MD
January 29, 2020
Category: Rheumatologist
Tags: Psoriasis  

Find out how to reduce psoriasis flare-ups and improve moments of remission.

If you are dealing with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, it is important that you have a trusted physician in your corner. It’s the best way to get psoriasisthe care you deserve. Our Haddon Heights, NJ, Board Certified Rheumatologist Mark Fisher, MD FACR, provides patients with comprehensive psoriasis treatments to improve their symptoms. He can work with your current primary physician and dermatologist to create an effective treatment plan.

Treating Psoriasis

Even though psoriasis isn’t curable, it can be well managed with the current state of the art treatments available in 2020. There are many choices when it comes to treating your overall symptoms. You may choose topical or oral medications initially, or light therapy. However, if your symptoms are persistent or haven’t been responding to such treatments, it is time to talk to our Haddon Heights, NJ, Rheumatologist about finding relief through biologics.

Biologics for Treating Psoriasis

A biologic, also known as immunomodulatory therapy and monoclonal antibodies, are drugs that are administered as an injection subcutaneously or through an IV. Instead of affecting the whole immune system, it targets the part of the immune system that causes skin inflammation. It alleviates symptoms and may even prevent further damage to the joints. There are ever increasing numbers of agents that have become available to treat moderate-to-severe psoriasis and also psoriatic arthritis. Working on different aspects of the immune system causing this inflammation gives patients many more options for successful results.

Biologics are the best course of action for severe psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. There are some potential side effects associated with biologics due to their relationship with the immune system. Dr. Mark Fisher will go over the advantages and disadvantages of this form of therapy with you. 

If you are dealing with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis in the South Jersey community, and you are looking for a Rheumatologist you can trust, call our office today to schedule your consultation with Board Certified Rheumatologist Mark Fisher, MD FACR. Contact our office at (856) 547-8004.

By Dr. Mark Fisher, M
June 17, 2019
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Psoriasis  

PsoriasisPsoriasis is a common, chronic and often frustrating skin condition that causes skin scaling, inflammation, redness, and irritation. The exact cause is unknown, but psoriasis is thought to be caused by an overactive immune system, which causes the skin to form inflamed scaly lesions. These patches of thick, red skin may be itchy and painful. They are often found on the elbows and knees, but can also form on the scalp, lower back, face, and nails.

Symptoms of psoriasis are different for every person and can vary in intensity over time. Some people may even go months or years without symptoms before flare-ups return. Symptoms of psoriasis can manifest in many ways, including:

  • Rough, scaly skin
  • Cracks on fingertips
  • Simple tasks are painful, such as tying your shoe
  • Brown, uneven nails
  • Flaky skin
  • Joint pain or aching
  • Severe itching

The onset of psoriasis can occur at any age, although it most often occurs in adults. The disease is non-contagious and is thought to be genetic. Because psoriasis is a persistent, systemic autoimmune disease, people with psoriasis will have it for a lifetime. Most people who suffer from psoriasis can still lead healthy, active lives with proper management and care. 

Coping with Psoriasis: Your Rheumatologist can Help

Currently, there is no cure for psoriasis, but with the help of your Rheumatologist, you can learn how to cope with the condition, reduce psoriasis symptoms and keep outbreaks under control for an improved quality of life. Treatment depends on how serious the psoriasis is, the type of psoriasis and how the patient responds to certain treatments.

By Mark Fisher MD
June 07, 2018
Category: Rheumatologist
Tags: Psoriasis  

PsoriasisManaging your psoriasis can be difficult, particularly during painful flare-ups. It is a chronic condition that cannot be cured, but several highly effective treatments are available for minimizing and soothing the symptoms of a psoriasis flare-up. Moderate to severe cases of psoriasis can benefit  from treatment with biologics, which suppress overactive immune systems. Psoriasis is caused, in part, by an overactive immune system. Dr. Mark Fisher is your Rheumatologist for treatment of psoriasis in the South Jersey area.

Types of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is associated with red patches, white scales, and flaky areas on the skin. The condition is the result of an accelerated growth cycle of skin cells. New skin cells mature so quickly that the body is unable to shed them before new skin cells are produced. As skin cells begin to build up, red patches, white scales, and flakiness develop. When psoriasis flares up, it tends to affect the skin on the elbows, knees, legs and back most often, but can appear anywhere on the body. There are five types of psoriasis:

  • Plaque Psoriasis
  • Inverse Psoriasis
  • Pustular Psoriasis
  • Guttate Psoriasis
  • Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Biologic Treatments for Psoriasis

There are a number of treatments for psoriasis, including topical ointments, light therapy, and oral medications. These methods are good for treating mild to moderate cases of psoriasis and may have very limited success. However, a stronger treatment method is needed for moderate to severe cases of psoriasis. Your Rheumatologist for treatment of psoriasis in Haddon Heights can recommend the best option for treating your psoriasis.

Biologic drugs, also referred to as biologics, are one of the most effective treatments for more serious cases of psoriasis. 

Biologics are administered by injection, either intravenously or

subcutaneously, and work by modifying the immune system, which is often overactive in patients struggling with psoriasis. These monoclonal antibodies are directed against specific inflammatory proteins causing inflammation and are the most effective treatments for psoriasis management. 
In addition, this severe inflammatory skin disease can be associated with severe arthritis as well, and all of these symptoms can be very well controlled with such medications.

The main risk for these medications is infection and the use of preventive care with vaccines can be very useful in reducing such risks.

It can be very uncomfortable and socially inhibiting when your psoriasis flares up. Your Rheumatologist can prescribe the best course of treatment for managing your psoriasis. Biologics offer extended relief for individuals with moderate to severe cases of psoriasis. The benefits and results of treatment can be very dramatic medically, personally, and socially.

For treatment of psoriasis in South Jersey, schedule an appointment with Dr. Fisher by calling the office at (856) 547-8004.

By Mark Fisher MD
October 17, 2017
Category: Rheumatologist
Tags: Psoriasis  

Don’t let this autoimmune disorder affect your appearance and quality of life.psoriasis

Those who deal with psoriasis are often embarrassed when flare-ups happen. After all, their once smooth skin is now covered with thick, red, scaly patches. If you wish you could wear short sleeves or shorts without worrying that other people will notice your psoriasis, then our Camden County, NJ, Rheumatologist Dr. Mark Fisher is here to tell you how he can help.

While mild psoriasis symptoms can be treated with treatment options such as topical steroids and light therapy, those who battle moderate-to-severe symptoms may need to turn to our Camden County, NJ, rheumatology doctor for a more effective treatment.

Many people dealing with more serious psoriasis symptoms can finally find the relief they seek through biologics. Biologics are injectable  drugs that work by acting directly on the immune system to reduce the intense inflammatory lesions of psoriasis. These medications can be very effective. Significant risks such as infection must be discussed, and it is important to consider these factors before deciding whether this is the best option for managing your psoriasis.

The Severity of Your Symptoms

If you are dealing with plaques over about 25 percent to 50 percent of your body or more,  this is a good indicator that you may be an ideal candidate for this treatment. Those with milder symptoms often don’t require such aggressive treatment in order to experience relief.

Your Quality of Life

Take a second to determine just how much psoriasis affects your daily life. This is probably one of the most important factors. If you find yourself retreating from social gatherings and hiding behind layers of clothes because of your psoriasis then biologic drugs may be the best way to improve your skin and your confidence. Psoriasis can affect your joints in a very aggressive way as well.

Your Overall Health

Biologics work by suppressing the immune system in different ways, so it’s important that you have no other medical issues that would increase risks of side effects from these medications. We will go through your medical history and perform a thorough evaluation to make sure that you aren’t dealing with serious health problems that would be impacted by a suppressed immune system. These treatments have made huge impacts in a very positive way for many years for so many with low risks for adverse reactions.

If you want to find out more about getting biologics in Southern New Jersey to treat your severe psoriasis symptoms that has failed conservative management, then it’s time you scheduled an evaluation with Dr. Fisher.

Camden County, NJ Rheumatologist
Mark Fisher, MD 713 Station Ave
Haddon Heights, NJ 08035
(856) 547-8004