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08/08/2002 - News

New developments in psoriasis treatment

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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There are many new treatment options for people who are suffering from psoriasis.

The second most common skin disorder in the US, psoriasis is marked by raised, thickened patches of skin and can cause much discomfort and psychological distress. Dr Mark Lebwohl, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, describes how treatment has advanced for the condition.

Steroids have long been the mainstay of psoriasis treatment. Now these drugs are available in new formulations which allow better penetration and greater efficiency. For instance, a foam version of clobetasol is very useful for scalp psoriasis. Meanwhile, non-steroidal treatments have also come along, like tazarotene, a vitamin A derivative. And there are the immunomodulators, such as tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, which are used for dermatitis and may be helpful in psoriasis too.

Sometimes a systemic therapy is better than a topical one. Etanercept and remicade, both of which block tumor necrosis factor (TNF), look very promising - damping down the immune response which triggers psoriasis. In short, the dermatologists now has many more options to offer people with psoriasis.

Source

American Academy of Dermatology Meeting 3rd August 2002

Created on: 08/08/2002
Reviewed on: 08/08/2002

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