Biologics Not For Everyone Biologics

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition affecting millions of people worldwide. Yet despite continous research a cure has yet to be found.

The disease occurs when the body suddenly starts to produce skin cells at a rapid rate resulting in a build up of immature cells on the surface of the skin which create red patches covered with silvery scales.

An over active immune system and genetics are believed to be the cause. Yet it is not known why some people suffer from psoriasis while others do not. Nor is it known why the disease first starts.

A range of treatments have been available for a considerable time but the new biologics have only been on the market for a few years.

Biologics are the new wonder drug for Psoriasis

A new medical breakthrough, biologics are considered by many as the new wonder drug for Psoriasis. Biologic drugs are made up of living proteins formed in bacteria.

“Biologics work in very specific ways, unlike past medicines that worked in a broad, non specific manner. They allow us to target specific symptoms and decrease side effects,” said Dr Andrew Blauvelt of the department of dermatology at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

Dr Blauvelt went on to describe the new biologic drugs as “laser-guided missiles” compared with the “big bomb” medicines in years past.

Another huge advantage of biologics is that they are injectable and can usually be self administered at home. They are not messy creams or ointments.

Biologics do have a downside

Unfortunately this new wonder treatment is not for everyone. It is reserved for people with more extensive or severe psoriasis. Mild cases or psoriasis are still treated with the more traditional form of topical treatments such as steroid creams or the natural creams like Calendulis Plus Cream

“If you just have psoriasis on your elbows, we’re going to give you a cream,” said Dr Steven R Feldman, a professor of dermatology, pathology and public health sciences and director of the Center for Dermatology Research at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. “If you have more generalized psoriasis, then you’ll be a candidate for the new biologics.”

Being a new range of drugs, only approved for use over the past few years, biologics are still relatively untested and can be quite expensive.

“The cost is still very high, and we still don’t know the long-term effects,” said Dr Blauvelt.

Like all psoriasis treatments biologics will not help everyone. Doctors estimate that only one third of patients will respond dramatically to a particular biologic drug. Much trial and error is therefore required to find the best treatment.

These new treatments are a definite step forward and offer new hope for patients who in the past have found their psoriasis uncontrollable.

“The one thing for people who have psoriasis is if you haven’t been to a dermatologist recently, go back,” said Paula Fasano, director of marketing and communications for the National Psoriasis Foundation. “Many people have given up on their treatment, and there are so many options where there are new treatments available and combination therapies.”

Whilst not a cure the new biologics are offering hope for so many psoriasis sufferers who have had to endure so much for so long. Let’s hope it is just another step along the road to complete control and the eventual cure of psoriasis.