Sarika Manoj Ramachandran, MD, is the medical director of Yale Medicine Dermatology in Branford, where she treats children, adolescents and adults for all their general dermatology needs. She also has a special interest in helping people with rheumatologic dermatology conditions such as cutaneous lupus, scleroderma and morphea, a condition that causes hardening and discoloration of the skin.
Because these and related conditions affect the skin (and often internal organs), she believes in taking a comprehensive approach to care. She is part of a dermatology-rheumatology program that treats people who have these disorders.
“It's a wonderful opportunity for the patient to be looked at from the skin as well as the systemic and rheumatologic perspectives,” she says. “Many treatments that we use for the skin can also benefit systemic disease. However, that’s not always the case—not all skin treatments are going to be the ones that we would use systemically for other organ systems. So, sometimes it's helpful to have that conversation in the room with the patient to figure out the best treatment options.”
Dr. Ramachandran believes this team approach helps prevent complications. “We can often get better results and prevent scarring and contractures (when skin, muscles or ligaments constrict, which can cause decreased mobility) when we treat quickly and aggressively,” she says.
An assistant professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Ramachandran is currently researching morphea and new treatments for autoimmune skin diseases such as lupus.