Psoriasis is a skin disorder that causes skin cells to multiply up to 10 times faster than normal. This multiplication makes the skin build up into bumpy, red patches covered with white scales. While these patches, commonly referred to as plaques, can grow anywhere, they most frequently are seen on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, affecting roughly 80 percent of those with psoriasis according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.
What are the symptoms of psoriasis?
Symptoms of psoriasis vary depending on the type, person, and where the patches are located, but typically include:
- Inflamed, red patches of skin
- Itching, burning, and soreness
- White scales or plaques on inflamed areas
- Dry skin that can bleed and crack
- Aching and swollen joints
How are psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis related?
Psoriatic arthritis is commonly considered a comorbidity of psoriasis — inflammation plays a significant role in both conditions. Psoriasis plaques affect the skin with its plaques, while psoriatic arthritis is categorized by joint swelling that causes intense pain. It is estimated that roughly a third of people with mild, moderate or severe psoriasis will additionally experience psoriatic arthritis.
Are there any environmental triggers for psoriasis?
As the weather shifts to cooler temperatures, you may wonder how that could impact psoriasis symptoms. While triggers vary entirely from case to case and person to person, they typically can range from environmental conditions to lifestyle choices.
The most common psoriasis triggers include:
- Cold or dry temperatures
- Skin injuries such as a cut or sunburn
- Excessive alcohol use or smoking
- Existing autoimmune disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
- Infections that may weaken the body’s immune system
- Medications such as beta-blockers, lithium, and antimalarials
- High levels of stress
As with any complex chronic condition, finding the right balance of information, community, and support – whether connecting is virtual or in-person — is crucial to living well. We particularly love Healthline’s roundup of The Best Psoriasis Blogs of 2020 to provide motivation and encouragement from others living with psoriasis.
Biologic Treatment Options for Psoriasis
Ilumya is a biologic injection used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Ilumya works to restore the order of the immune system by blocking a specific molecule shown to make psoriasis symptoms worsen. After two initial doses, Iluyma is administered in four doses over the course of a year.
Stelera IV is a biologic infusion therapy shown to positively treat patients suffering from psoriatic arthritis and moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Selera IV treatments target proteins connected to plaque psoriasis, joint, and skin inflammation to help reduce psoriasis symptoms.
Remicade, or infliximab, is a biologic infusion therapy used to treat psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis. Doctors can prescribe Remicade to a wide range of people, including pediatric patients to the elderly. A typical Remicade infusion process takes around two to three hours and can be administered roughly every six to eight weeks.
Renflexis, the biosimilar to Remicade, is an infusion therapy meant to treat cases of psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis. Renflexis works by blocking the actions of inflammation-inducing proteins in psoriasis patients. Renflexis infusions are administered in three starting doses in the first six weeks. Patients can then expect to receive one dose roughly every six to eight weeks.
Inflectra, also the biosimilar to Remicade, is an infusion therapy shown to treat psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis. Inflectra works by targeting the inflammation-causing proteins in your body to help reduce psoriasis flare-ups. A typical Infectra infusion takes approximately two hours to administer.