In my life, I have know a few friends who had a skin condition called psoriasis. Initially I thought it was about not keeping clean or sweating too much. Once I did research, I found out that it was an immune system response to your skin cells. Psoriasis occurs when your immune system thinks that your skin cells are pathogens and sends out signals to create more skin cells. So you have skin cells on top of skin cells which is marked by recurring patches of scaly, itchy skin. This is a lifelong condition and there is no cure, just medications to control the symptoms.
Psoriasis Side Effects
Half of people with psoriasis are not satisfied with the treatment they’re receiving for the skin condition. They are treated with topical creams, light therapy and oral medications. If you have what amounts to a rash or itchy skin, chances are these medications will work. For some patients the medications won’t work and eventually develop a form of arthritis related to the condition called psoriatic arthritis. The arthritis is just like all other which affect your joints and limit your ability for sports or activity.
There are varying degrees of severity ranging from mild to severe. Those with the severe forms of the condition have an increased risk of a range of other health problems. They health problems range from high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack to depression to type 2 diabetes. Individuals with psoriasis may also feel self-conscious about their appearance and have a poor self-image that stems from fear of public rejection and psychosexual concerns. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Get checked out and get treated.
New Drug Treatments
There are new biologic medications to help with this treatment. However, most people who stopped taking newer injectable and intravenous drugs reportedly did so due to side effects or because the medication wasn’t working. Some also reported being unable to secure insurance coverage for so-called biologic medications, which include etanercept (marketed as Enbrel) and adalimumab (Humira). The fact that so many patients stopped biologic medications, which are some of the newest and most effective options for severe psoriasis, indicates that better treatments are still needed.
It is known that not everyone may have access to care or may not understand the severity of potential side effects of psoriasis. First is the cost of dermatologists experienced with psoriasis which are few and far between. This may put these dermatologists in an insurance specialty tier. If you add the cost of the biologics which can run up to $25000 yearly, you can see why insurance companies might hesitate. But for mild cases of psoriasis, forgoing treatment may not be a big deal but the more severe cases can result in life altering complications.
How have you handled Psoriasis?