Psoriasis Specialist

Kristen R. Aguirre, M.D.

Dermatologist & Dermatologic Surgeon located in Fullerton, CA

Your skin is one of the first things that other people notice about you, so when you break out in a thick, scaly rash from psoriasis, it might make you feel self-conscious. Kristen Aguirre, MD, a board-certified dermatologist practicing in Fullerton, California, offers diagnosis and treatments for psoriasis to patients of all ages. If you or your child are living with psoriasis, call or make an appointment online today for expert dermatological care.

Psoriasis Q & A

What is psoriasis?

You might recognize psoriasis as a thick, scaly skin rash. However, the tell-tale rash is a symptom of an underlying immunologic condition that makes your body generate new skin cells more quickly than you shed the old ones. This continuous and rapid growth of new skin causes an itchy red and silver rash — often referred to as a plaque — to develop.

Psoriasis affects men, women, and children, causing symptoms that include:

  • Patches of red skin covered with thick, silver, scaly plaque
  • Dry, cracked, and bleeding skin
  • Painful, itchy, and burning sensations
  • Stiff and swollen joints
  • Ridged, pitted, or thick fingernails

You may experience psoriasis on a small part of your body — like your scalp — or it can develop in large patches that cover much of your body. Psoriasis symptoms also tend to go through cycles in which you have weeks or months of remission with periods where your symptoms flare up to varying degrees.

What causes psoriasis?

Psoriasis stems from an immunologic disorder that causes your skin to produce new cells every three to four days instead of every 28 days or so. However, the cause of the immunologic issues isn’t fully understood.

Your risk of developing psoriasis is higher if you have a family history of the condition. If you have high stress levels or recurring infections that can affect your immune system, you may also have a higher risk of psoriasis.

Psoriasis is known to be triggered by stress, infection, skin injuries, and certain medications like lithium and beta blockers.

How is psoriasis treated?

Dr. Aguirre creates customized treatment plans to control psoriasis symptoms. She can prescribe a variety of treatments to address your specific concerns.

Dr. Aguirre often prescribes topical treatments like topical corticosteroids,  and vitamin D derivatives. She also prescribes oral medications such as methotrexate, Soriatane®, and Otezla®, as well as biologic drugs like Humira®, Cosentyx®, and Taltz®.

In addition to medicines, Dr. Aguirre suggests additional treatments to reduce the rate of skin cell growth. Light therapy, also called phototherapy, penetrates your skin and slows the growth of your cells. Similarly, laser treatments provide highly targeted doses of light energy to hard-to-treat areas like your knees, elbows, and scalp.

Dr. Aguirre will also discuss possible lifestyle changes that can contribute to psoriasis, such as diet, weight loss, smoking cessation, and other exacerbating factors.

If you have psoriasis and want expert treatment to resolve your symptoms and clear your skin, call or make an appointment online today.