Psoriasis Associated with Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine)

The following case studies illustrate examples where Plaquenil administration was associated with either new onset psoriasis or flaring of pre-existing psoriasis.

Case 1. A middle-aged woman sought another opinion for a puzzling rash which had been seen by two dermatologists. At first, skin biopsies showed features of eczema. Subsequent biopsies … Continue reading

Skin Diseases and Granulocyte White Blood Cells: Hidradenitis Suppurativa, Sweet’s Syndrome, and Pyoderma Gangrenosum

Granulocytes are the predominant white blood cells released from the bone marrow.  They are responsible for ingesting and killing or inactivating most infectious organisms, a process called phagocytosis.  The granules referred to in the name are actually the lysosomes in the cell that contain caustic and digestive enzymes. These same … Continue reading

Psoriasis Treatments

Psoriasis is a heavy burden for both the physical and economic health of the nation, affecting about 7.5 million Americans.  The annual cost for treating psoriasis in the U.S. in 2008 was $11.25 billion.  The average cost per patient, estimated at $5500 per year, is much higher for more severe … Continue reading

When Should a Primary Care Doc Refer to a Dermatologist?

The answer to the question depends on the extent of training in dermatology and the individual physician’s comfort level in dealing with skin diseases.  Currently, the definition of “primary care providers” includes family practitioners, internists, pediatricians, and gynecologists, but may be expanded to include nurse practitioners.  The education of U.S. medical … Continue reading

Cyclosporine, Psoriasis, and Grapefruit Juice

Cyclosporine (CS), a potent immunosuppressive peptide, was discovered by Sandoz in 1975.  Clinical testing showed that it was very effective for preventing rejection of life-saving organ transplants such as kidney, heart, liver, and bone marrow.  Investigators also noted the impressive ability of CS to clear up any psoriasis on the … Continue reading