Scientists are learning more about psoriasis by studying genes, laser light treatment, and possible new treatments that help the skin not react to the immune system. This research has a tremendous spillover into other fields besides dermatology. Diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis are a few conditions that may also benefit from psoriasis research.
Research scientists are learning more about psoriasis by studying:
- New treatments that help skin not react to the immune system
- Laser light treatment on thick patches.
Significant progress has been made in understanding the inheritance of psoriasis. A number of genes involved in psoriasis are already known or suspected. In a multifactor disease (involving genes, environment, and other factors) like psoriasis, variations in one or more genes may produce a greater likelihood of getting the disease. Research scientists are continuing to study the genetic aspects of psoriasis.
Since discovering that inflammation in psoriasis is triggered by T-cells, psoriasis research scientists have been studying new psoriasis treatments that quiet immune system reactions in the skin. Among these are treatments that block the activity of T-cells or block cytokines (proteins that promote inflammation). Several of these psoriasis medications are awaiting approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Laser Light Treatment
Advances in laser technology are making it possible for doctors to experiment with laser light treatment of localized plaques. A UVB laser was recently tested in a study that was conducted at several medical centers. Although improvements in the skin were noted, this psoriasis treatment is not without possible side effects. In some patients, the skin became inflamed, blistered, or discolored following treatment.