A Brief Overview: Psoriasis.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), more than half of the 5,600 respondents in a 2013 survey were not happy with their psoriasis management. These results showed that a change had to be made and psoriasis patients needed new and more efficient methods of treatment. Luckily, there have been a variety of treatments created following the 2013 NPF survey.
For those needing relief of their psoriasis, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved in 2014 a new oral drug, which can be used as a moderate to severe plaque psoriasis treatment. This FDA approved drug was called apremilast (Otezla).
This new group of oral treatment blocks the immune response, which causes inflammation. Otezla helps to elevate joint pain and swelling for those suffering from psoriatic arthritis. Additionally, Otezla can be used to reduce redness and plaque. Unlike a number of drugs used for treating psoriasis, this oral drug can be taken with other medication.
Biologics, which are protein-based drugs made from living cells, are administered by injection or intravenous (IV) infusion. As the immune system plays a defining role in how psoriasis develops, biologics work to block some of the immune system’s functions.
In the past decade alone, the FDA has approved numerous biologics for treating psoriasis. These drugs include the following:
One new biologic psoriasis drug that has shown extremely positive results, especially during clinical trials, is Ixekizumab. Approved in March of 2016, this biologic drug targets the interleukin-17A protein and according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, one-third of patients who used this drug had clearer skin after 3 months. Aside from Ixekizumab, two other biologic drugs that target IL-17 have been approved, such as secukinumab and brodalumab.
If you are looking for a moderate to severe psoriasis treatment, doctors will prescribe biologic drugs. Additionally, as these drugs are still relatively new, doctors will prescribe them only to those who haven’t responded to other treatment or can’t use other treatment due to side effects. Last but not least, doctors will prescribe biologics for people with an infection or a fragile immune system.
Topical treatments are drugs that an individual applies to their skin, and within the past decade, topical treatments for psoriasis have become readily available. Generally speaking, topical treatments are the first treatment option given to psoriasis patients, and they can be used with oral drugs or biologics. If you need moderate or severe psoriasis treatment, topical drugs will be prescribed.
Fortunately, topical treatments for psoriasis can come as prescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs. If you have an itchy rash or an itchy scalp and need something to relieve the initial itch, try using an OTC topical treatment. These drugs include the following;
- Aloe vera
If, however, you need help reducing inflammation and redness (caused by extra blood rushing to the area), you might need to inquire with your doctor about prescription topical treatments, such as steroids.
Seek professional advice.
Like anything, one person’s response to treatment might not be the same as another’s. Therefore, when looking for the best psoriasis treatment options, make sure you have an open and honest conversation with your doctor.
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