August Is Psoriasis Action Month: Experts Offer Treatment Tips

August 8, 2023
August Is Psoriasis Action Month Experts Offer Treatment Tips image

Consider systemic/biologic therapy for patients with high-impact limited disease such as psoriasis that only affects the scalp, palms, soles, genitals, or nails, even if the total body surface affected is less than 10%.

August is Psoriasis Action Month and serves as a good time to make sure that your patients are being adequately treated with available therapies, psoriasis experts tell DermWire. 

Psoriasis is common, affecting 7.5 million in the US, one-third of whom are candidates for either systemic/biologic therapy or phototherapy, says Bruce Strober, MD, PhD, a clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and a dermatologist at Central Connecticut Dermatology, with offices throughout Connecticut.

 “The modern treatments for psoriasis are numerous, more effective than ever, very well tolerated in most patients, and are associated with low risk,” he tells DermWire.  “Dermatologists can impart optimism to their psoriasis patients regarding their ability to safely clear the skin.“

His advice? “Consider systemic/biologic therapy for patients with ‘high-impact limited disease’ such as psoriasis that only affects the scalp, palms, soles, genitals, or nails, even if the total body surface affected is less than 10%,” Dr. Strober says. “Topical failure should prompt the use of the modern systemic therapies in these patients.”

Mark G. Lebwohl, MD, Dean for Clinical Therapeutics for the Department of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, agrees.

“We have extraordinarily effective and safe new treatments, yet there are many patients with significant psoriasis who are not adequately treated,” he says. “The side effects of many of our biologic treatments are very limited and predictable. The benefits include not only the clearing of skin but also the prevention of arthritis and heart disease. “

Raising awareness about psoriasis and available treatments is key, adds Jashin J. Wu, M.D.. He is the founder and course director of the San Diego Dermatology Symposium, Dermatology Refresher Symposium, Dermatology Innovation Symposium, Dermatology Therapeutics Symposium, and Founder and CEO of the Dermatology Research and Education Foundation In Irvine, Calif. Dr. Wu is Voluntary Associate Professor at the Department of Dermatology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Councilor for the International Psoriasis Council.

“Patients may have a rash but not know what it is or that there are many effective treatments for it,” he says.  “For any patient with a body surface area of more than 5%, any phototherapy or systemic therapy (oral or biologic) should be considered.  Topicals may not be enough for clearance."

Patients with psoriasis are still considered to be contagious and face social stigmatization, which is why it remains important to raise awareness about this disease, says Jennifer Soung, MD, FAAD. She is director of clinical research at Southern California Dermatology in Santa Ana, Calif., and clinical faculty at Harbor University of California Los Angeles.  “Psoriasis can have a tremendous impact on the physical, emotional, and social aspects of life, and promoting awareness can also help fight discrimination and empower patients with knowledge of psoriasis and highly effective treatment options."

The good news is that there are so many highly effective treatment options for patients now compared to 10 years ago, she says. “Dermatologists have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of psoriasis patients,” Dr. Soung says. “The physical, psychological, and social effects of uncontrolled psoriasis and its comorbidities over a lifetime can result in a huge impact on major life decisions as well.”

 The National Psoriasis Foundation suggests helping to raise awareness about psoriasis and its treatments by:

Requesting a Psoriasis E-Kit

Request your e-kit to learn about:

• Triggers that may worsen psoriasis

• Tips to manage symptoms and inflammation

Request yours

Joining the Movement

Take ACTION for Psoriatic Disease is a movement to educate, motivate, and celebrate this community. Join the movement by registering today.

Register now

Using the #ThisIsPsoriasis hashtag on social media

Share your photo, story, art, or video on Instagram and use #ThisIsPsoriasis. Tag the National Psoriasis Foundation and they will share community posts all month!

Facebook Comments


We’re glad to see you’re enjoying PracticalDermatology…
but how about a more personalized experience?

Register for free