Psoriasis is one of the most common autoimmune diseases in the world affecting 125 million people globally. That’s almost 3% of the population, and of those, about 8 million are Americans. Up to 30% of those with psoriasis will likely develop psoriatic arthritis. The true cause of psoriasis isn’t fully understood but there does seem to be a connection to the immune system and genetics.
Psoriasis is often seen as dry, red, scaly patches on the skin. It can affect any area of the body but often seen on the elbows, scalp, neck, palms, and feet. The skin may itch and can be so dry and cracked it bleeds. There are several types of psoriasis with plaque psoriasis being the most common type. Most forms of psoriasis come in cycles of flare-ups to calmness and even going into remission for some.
While there is no cure for psoriasis, it’s important not to wait for treatment as it can lead to later complications. A number of methods can be used to temper symptoms like lifestyle adjustments but for moderate to severe symptoms biologic drugs have been found to be very effective. These are synthetic replicates of proteins that the human body normally produces that targets where inflammation in the immune system is caused. Specifically, it blocks the release of cytokines that causes the cell overproduction and inflammation of psoriasis. These biologic drugs are injected or administered via infusion and can block two different types cytokines depending on the inhibitor type: TNF-alpha or Interleukin. For when more than 5% of the body is affected or symptoms are disabling, stronger this stronger therapy can offer relief.
A person’s therapy options will depend on the type, severity, and individual factors. It’s important to discuss all routes with your health care team for what is right for you. If you’re interested in learning more about treatment options and infusion therapy, feel free to contact us at (703) 313-9111.