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American Academy of Dermatology Issues New Guidelines for the Management of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
Date:5/21/2008

lopment of psoriasis, including drugs, skin trauma, infection and stress.

A related condition, psoriatic arthritis is a chronic disease characterized by stiffness, pain, swelling and tenderness of the joints, surrounding ligaments and tendons. Nearly 85 percent of psoriatic arthritis patients develop psoriasis before psoriatic arthritis. It generally takes about seven to 10 years for psoriasis patients to develop psoriatic arthritis. Although it can develop at any time, psoriatic arthritis most commonly strikes patients between the ages of 30 and 50.

General Recommendations

Based on a comprehensive examination of the most recent studies on therapies for psoriasis, the Academy's guidelines outline the benefits and limitations of topical and systemic therapies currently available to treat psoriasis.

According to the guidelines, topical treatments are appropriate for patients who are good candidates for localized therapy, but in many cases they should not be used exclusively to treat psoriasis if patients could benefit from a combination of systemic and/or phototherapy treatments. When evaluating a patient, a dermatologist will determine if traditional systemic treatments, [methotrexate, cyclosporine (CyA) and oral retinoids] phototherapy, or the newer biologic agents are safe and effective for each individual.

Recommendations for Biologics

With the recent introduction of biologic therapies to treat psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, dermatologists have more options available to find an appropriate treatment regimen to manage these conditions. Given by injection or infusion, biologics are systemic medications that pinpoint precise immune responses involved with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. They work, in part, by acting as a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor to slow the inflammatory response. Studies confirm that the chronic physical symptoms that plague patients with moderate to severe psoriasis can be successfully al
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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