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Dermatology specialists at Bradford Hospitals are hoping to find new ways to treat patients with early stage psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales. It affects around two per cent of people in the UK and can start at any age, but most often develops in adults under 35 years old.

The condition affects men and women equally and the severity of psoriasis varies greatly from person to person. For some people it's just a minor irritation, but for others it can have a major impact on their quality of life.

Professor Andrew Wright, consultant dermatologist, and his team at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have already been involved in a number of clinical trials for psoriasis treatment, and the latest research is focusing on people who have developed the condition only recently.

He explained: “Over recent years there have been a lot of very exciting new developments in psoriasis care, with treatments that can help to modify the disease and keep it under control. Most of these are currently in the form of injections, and have changed many people’s lives.

Trial new treatments

“We are now looking at new ways to treat early stage psoriasis – but we need the help of people who have had the condition for no more than six to nine months, so we can trial new treatments which could prevent them developing more severe psoriasis.”

Finding people with early stage psoriasis is difficult, said Professor Wright, as most patients that GPs and the hospital see have had the condition for a long time.

“We’ve come a long way in treating psoriasis. Until recent times the only treatments available were creams and ointments – often tar-based or similar which were unpleasant to use. Ultraviolet light treatment, although it’s effective, is time consuming and impossible for some people because of work commitments.

“That’s why the work we’re involved in right now is so exciting, because we’re looking at ways of preventing psoriasis becoming more extensive by involving patients in treatment at an earlier stage.”

Anyone who has developed psoriasis recently and is interested in getting involved in research can contact Bradford Hospitals’ dermatology research nurse, Jenny Ott at: jennifer.ott@bthft.nhs.uk or call: 01274 365456.