New treatments help psoriasis patients

January 22, 2010 5:09:07 PM PST
Psoriasis is a painful skin disorder that affects more than seven million Americans. There is no cure, but new treatments are giving hope to many who have suffered for decades. Think of this blue laser as a blue sunburn. The laser simulates intense sunlight and it's being used to heal scales of psoriasis.

"It's almost gone. What you see now, the redness you see, that's really all that's left," said patient Kim Dulski.

After 14 laser treatments, her psoriasis is almost gone.

Besides the laser, there are some two dozen options for people who are struggling to get help for their psoriasis.

"Topical, injectible or oral. If you haven't gotten success or don't have insurance, you can still get treatment free through studies," said Dr. Stephen Tyring, research dermatologist.

Dr. Tyring does research on psoriasis. The painful skin disorder occurs when the immune system attacks the skin. It can be triggered by stress or an infection.

"I had flakes all over because everything I touched, it fell on my clothing. It was pitiful," said patient Marlene Finkelstein.

They're gone because of an experimental drug.

A monthly shot has knocked out Jeff Kennedy's psoriasis. It too is an experimental treatment.

"It cleared up quickly. I'd say a month and it's been great since then. I don't have any psoriasis left at all," said Kennedy.

Adriana Cerda's psoriasis was so bad, a stranger at a Laundromat gave her Dr. Tyring's card. He put her on two traditional drugs being used in a new way in combination. Now it's gone.

"It would hurt. It would really hurt," said Cerda.

New lasers, new combinations and new medicines are new hope for an old problem.

"For me, it is a cure," said Finkelstein.

For free psoriasis treatments, you can call the Center for Clinical Studies at 281-333-2288 or visit They have offices at the Texas Medical Center and in Clear Lake.