What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a very common skin disease. An estimated six and eight million people in this country have some form of psoriasis. Psoriasis is not contagious and can be controlled with a variety of treatments, and each case is treated on an individual basis.
Who is most likely to have psoriasis?
Psoriasis can affect people of any age. Although it usually begins in young adults, it can also start in childhood or first appear in old age.
What is the main cause of psoriasis?
Many things can trigger the symptoms of psoriasis, including physical trauma (burns, cuts, or surgery), infections (such as strep throat), drug use, severe sunburn, and periods of emotional stress. Psoriasis may or may not be a chronic condition. Some patients suffer from it intermittently for their entire lives. However, avoiding these triggers as much as possible can help reduce flare-ups.
What is the best treatment for psoriasis?
The experts at RI Skin Doc are proud to offer a few cutting-edge therapeutic medication options for the treatment of psoriasis, including:
- Amevive® (Alefacept): The first of these biologics to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque-type psoriasis, this drug decreases the pathogenic T-cells that are most responsible for psoriasis. It has a slow onset of action, but a second course of therapy causes an increased response. Your dermatologist will inject Amevive® weekly for 12 weeks, followed by a 12- week drug-free period.
- Enbrel® (Etanercept): One of the biologic agents that are approved by the FDA for the treatment of several plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. This agent acts by blocking the activity of inflammatory cytokines. Enbrel® begins to work within 2 to 4 weeks of the start of therapy, and you may perform the injections yourself after training with your dermatologist. Maintenance therapy is required.
- Humira® (Adalimumab): A biologic agent that blocks TNF, which is elevated in certain disease states such as psoriasis & psoriatic arthritis. It is used to treat moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis, usually within 2-4 weeks after starting the medication. Patients take a loading dose of 80 mg (2 injections), then the following week 1 injection (40 mg), then 1 injection every other week. Maintenance therapy is required.
- Stelara® (Ustekinumab): This is one of the newer biologic agents that is given 4 times a year after 2 starter doses. This medication will be administered by your dermatologist. Stelara targets your immune system by blocking IL-12 and IL-23, two proteins that play a role in plaque psoriasis. By preventing these two proteins from attaching to cells in your body, Stelara may slow down the production of skin cells and reduce inflammation.
- Remicade® (Infliximab): Indicated for the treatment of adult patients with chronic severe (extensive +/- disabling) plaque psoriasis, Remicade blocks the action of TNF, a protein that is elevated in psoriasis and other diseases. Remicade is given via IV infusion at a local infusion center or hospital. Remicade is infused over a 2 hour period and is dosed based on your body weight.
Psoriasis is not contagious and can be controlled with a variety of treatments, and each case is treated on an individual basis. To find out which treatment is right for you, set up an appointment and consult with us at RI Skin Doc as soon as possible.