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Dermatology Services: Psoriasis Treatments

Psoriasis is one of the most common skin diseases, affecting 1 percent to 3 percent of the U.S. population. The exact cause is still unknown, but psoriasis is believed to arise when the body's immune system is inappropriately triggered, causing skin cells to reproduce and accumulate at a hyperactive rate.

This hyperactivity results in the formation of raised, red plaques and white scales across the skin that may itch and be painful.

Although there is no known cure, UC Irvine Health dermatologists offer the most advanced treatment methods to help prevent psoriasis flare-ups and manage the severity of the disease. Our physicians are also actively studying promising therapies not yet available to the general public.

At the UC Irvine Health Dermatology Center, we work with you to determine the therapy that is best suited to your particular condition. To schedule a consultation, please call 949-824-0606 or 714-456-7070.

Our dermatologists specialize in providing personalized and effective treatments for psoriasis patients by considering the psoriasis type, its severity and location, as well as your personal lifestyle and other medical conditions. We offer a wide range of therapies that includes:

Topical creams and ointments

These are applied to the surface of the skin. Topical treatments may reduce psoriasis inflammation and excessive skin cell production. In  addition, some treatments are effective in moisturizing and soothing the skin, as well as at reducing itching and removing  scales.

Systemic medications

These include methotrexate, cyclosporine and acitretin. Systemic medications — which may be given orally or by injection — have been used to combat psoriasis for several years.


These are protein-based injections or intravenous (IV) formulas made from organic sources. They work by modulating the immune system to reduce the extent and severity of psoriasis. There are several different biologics available, each targeting a unique component of the immune system.

Photo therapy

Applying concentrated ultraviolet light to the skin has proven effective in treating psoriasis. We offer comprehensive photo therapy treatments, including the following therapeutic options:

  • Narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) photo booths: NB-UVB light penetrates the skin to slow the overproduction of skin cells. The patient’s entire body is bathed in UVB light for a few minutes on a regular schedule. NB-UVB has been highly effective at treating psoriasis, with rare and minimal side effects.
  • Ultraviolet A (NB-UVA) photo booth: The process of UVA is similar to NB-UVB, but also includes a topical medication called psolaren. This process is called PUVA, and may be more appropriate for certain types of psoriasis than NB-UVB.
  • Localized excimer laser: Excimer lasers have similar healing properties to NB-UVB photobooths; however, it is a hand held device that makes it possible to treat specific areas of the patient’s body. This option is ideal for patients who do not need a full body immersion. 
  • Ultraviolet A for hand and foot: This option combines the benefits of psolaren and UVA (PUVA) with the localized treatment received from an Excimer laser. Your dermatologist helps you select the option best suited to your condition.

In addition to well known and effective treatments, our dermatologists are studying promising new therapies and drugs to treat psoriasis that may not be available to the general public.

We have numerous ongoing studies to assess the safety and efficacy of innovative treatments for psoriasis and other skin conditions.

Learn more about our current clinical trials ›

UC Irvine Health dermatologists are leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis. They can help determine treatment options that can reduce or eliminate your symptoms.

What works for one person with psoriasis might not work for another. Our physicians guide you step-by-step through the different treatment options, and work to help find the right regimen for you.

We understand how psoriasis impacts our patients' lives. Whether you are a new patient looking to consult with one of our highly qualified dermatologists or a previously diagnosed patient referred by your physician, UC Irvine Health is the ideal place to receive personalized treatment from one of our expert dermatologists.

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