New guidelines outline new treatment management for psoriasis

The guidelines released by the American Academy of Dermatology will for the first time provide comprehensive information to other physicians on how to treat patients beyond outward physical effects of psoriasis.

RS7573 craig elmets 2008 1Craig Elmets, M.D., FAADTwo new guidelines about the treatment and management of psoriasis have been released by the American Academy of Dermatology, providing physicians with new evidence-based standards of how to treat the disease through the use of biologic medications and in recognizing the subsequent physical and mental comorbidities that occur with many patients.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that causes small to full-body patches of skin to become inflamed, red and scaly, leading to itching and pain. The disease has a severe emotional impact on many affected patients.

Craig Elmets, M.D., FAAD, professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Dermatology, served as the major author and co-chair of the work group that developed the guidelines.

“There has been an explosion of information available about psoriasis and diseases associated with it, but this is the first time guidelines will provide comprehensive information to other physicians about how to treat the patient beyond just the outward physical effects of psoriasis,” Elmets said. “With evidence collected over the past few years, we understand that psoriasis can truly impact a person’s quality of life, and we are confident the guidelines will lead to better treatment decisions and care moving forward.”

Psoriasis is associated with other co-morbidities, such as psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease and Crohn’s disease, and carries a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cancer. It also heightens the risk for a patient to experience anxiety and depression.

The guidelines address how doctors can better educate patients about their specific condition and needs, as well as other diseases they are particularly vulnerable to.

Furthermore, the guidelines also outline available biologic medications for treatment of psoriasis, providing recommendations for usage and summarizing effectiveness and possible side effects of each biologic to doctors.

Read more on the guidelines here.