At MedCart Specialty Pharmacy, we know that psoriasis be annoying at best — and debilitating at worst. But the right treatments can make a major difference, and we can put them to work for you.
We understand the challenges of patients, and work with them and their doctors to ensure the most effective management of any medications. The result? Optimal outcomes and potential cost savings.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes itchy or sore patches of skin. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, at least 10 percent of the population inherits at least one of the genes that can lead to psoriasis, although only two or three percent of people develop it. Experts think psoriasis develops through a combination of these genes and external “triggers,” such as stress, skin injuries or the use of certain medications.
There are five different kinds of psoriasis, but the most common form shows up as patches of thick, red skin with silvery scales. Although it can appear anywhere on the body, psoriasis is most common on the elbows, knees, scalp, back, face, palms and hands.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Most types of psoriasis can be identified by the symptoms and characteristic skin conditions that accompany each kind of psoriasis. Some forms of psoriasis are associated with specific health issues such as being overweight or having strep throat. One type of psoriasis — psoriatic arthritis — affects up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis. It causes pain, stiffness and swelling of the joints, as well as fatigue, reduced range of motion, swollen fingers and toes and other symptoms. These signs, along with a physical exam, blood work and imaging tests, can help confirm the diagnosis.
Depending on the type of psoriasis and its severity, there are a variety of treatment options. The first therapy tried in most cases is topical treatments, which are medications applied to the skin to slow down the disease process and reduce inflammation. There are a number of different topical treatments. There are also systemic medications, which are drugs taken by mouth or through an injection. People with moderate to severe psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis are more likely to use systemic medications, which are also an option for people who don’t respond to topical medications or UV light therapy, another form of treatment.
Another type of treatment is biologic drugs, which are a relatively new type of systemic medication. Also known as “biologics,” these drugs are administered by injection or IV therapy and target specific parts of the immune system that contribute to the development of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Traditional systemic medications affect the entire immune system.