Psoriasis: Your Quick Guide to Understanding and Treatment
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Normally, your immune system the body's natural defense system , protects your body from bacteria, viruses, and other foreign agents. Research has suggested that plaque psoriasis may be linked to an overactive immune system, which causes the body to accelerate the growth of skin cells at a faster pace than usual.
As a result, thickened, red patches, covered by silvery scales appear on the surface of your skin.
Doctors refer to these as psoriatic plaques. In the United States, as many as 7. Plaque psoriasis affects men and women equally, but research has suggested that ethnicity may be a factor. Psoriasis is more common among Caucasians of European descent than among African Americans or Asians. Symptoms of plaque psoriasis usually appear between the ages of 15 and About a third of people who have plaque psoriasis have a family history of the disease.
Only a dermatologist can determine if you have plaque psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is characterized by thickened, red patches covered by silvery scales, which appear on the surface of your skin, and may itch or feel sore. They can occur anywhere on your body in just a few places, or over large areas of your body. There's no specific diagnostic test for plaque psoriasis. If you experience symptoms, make an appointment with a dermatologist.
The dermatologist will discuss your symptoms and may ask questions about your family medical history. Your dermatologist will also look at your skin for symptoms and may decide to take a biopsy. A biopsy is a sample of the affected skin.
Your dermatologist will examine this sample under a microscope to rule out other possible skin conditions. Learn about our patient support program. Find Out More.
Sign up for tools and information. Acthar is an injectable medication that can help the body make its own steroid hormones, which helps lower inflammation. Acthar is useful for fast relief of severe inflammation and swelling. Azathioprine Imuran is a drug that suppresses the immune system, which helps with both PsA and skin psoriasis. People must take them via injection or intravenous drip.
Up to 60 percent of people may achieve remission after 1 year of treatment with biologics, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Remission means that there is "minimal disease activity," or the disease is not causing serious symptoms or joint damage. Biologics fight inflammation by targeting certain cells in the immune system, which helps calm the overactive immune response. Some examples of biologics that treat PsA include :. Tumor necrosis factor -alpha inhibitors TNF-alpha fight inflammation by targeting a specific protein in the immune system.
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Biologics can cause a higher risk of infection, and a person cannot take them if something else has already weakened their immune system. Some people notice side effects, including flu-like symptoms, feeling unwell, or soreness at the site of the injection. The name derives from the fact that small molecule medication targets molecules inside immune cells. This action helps correct the overactive immune response that can cause both PsA and psoriasis skin disease. Apremilast Otezla is a drug that prevents the body from making an enzyme that can cause inflammation.
Doctors may prescribe this medication to people who have found that DMARDs do not work, especially if they cannot take biologics.
Psoriasis | CIMZIA
Rare side effects may include body weight loss, depression , and suicidal behavior. Tofacitinib Xeljanz is a drug that stops an enzyme that may lead to inflammation. Rare side effects can include bowel perforation, lymphoma , and an increase in cholesterol levels. Common side effects for small molecule medications include headache, diarrhea, nausea, and upper respiratory infections. These drugs can lower a person's ability to fight infections.
Other therapies and lifestyle changes, such as physical therapy , exercise, and weight loss, can be a good complement to medication. People with PsA should work closely with their doctor to follow a complete treatment plan that will help them live the healthiest life possible. Article last reviewed by Wed 24 July Visit our Psoriatic Arthritis category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Psoriatic Arthritis.
All references are available in the References tab. About psoriatic arthritis. Hess, A. How to achieve remission in psoriatic arthritis. Leflunomide Arava. Psoriatic arthritis treatment. What is psoriatic arthritis? MLA Berry, Jennifer. MediLexicon, Intl. APA Berry, J. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.
See results: plaque psoriasis pictures before & after HUMIRA.
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Email an article. You have chosen to share the following article: How elderberries can help you fight the flu To proceed, simply complete the form below, and a link to the article will be sent by email on your behalf. Send securely. Message sent successfully The details of this article have been emailed on your behalf. By Jennifer Berry. Reviewed by Alan Carter, PharmD. NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. Someone taking corticosteroids may experience sleep problems and mood swings as side effects. Natural remedies can relieve some of the inflammation, pain, and swelling of psoriatic arthritis.