Scalp Psoriasis Treatment:
Treating Scalp Psoriasis: Biologic Treatments
Biologic treatments are the final step of the ladder in psoriasis treatment, and are generally reserved for severe cases due to the risks that the medication poses.
These treatments are the newest type of treatment, which target specific areas of the body's immune system which are thought to contribute to the complex process of psoriasis build-up. Biologic drugs are engineered from living cells from human or animal proteins rather than chemically manufactured, and are considered to be an important area of research in future treatments for psoriasis.
Some examples of biologic drugs that are currently available in the market include:
- Humira® (Adalimumab)
- Amevive® (Alefacept)
- Enbrel® (Etanercept)
- Remicade® (Infliximab)
- and Stelara® (Ustekinumab)
- Powerful drugs that can potentially clear even the most resistant cases of psoriasis
- Unlike systemic drugs, biologics suppress one area of the immune system and are more targeted which can minimize problems related to a weakening immune system
- Biologics is a new area of research that is thought to have great potential which means that there is plenty of clinical trials and potential for new and improved drugs reaching the market
- Many biologic treatments are extremely convenient requiring a visit to the dermatologist once in a few months or can be self-injecting drugs periodically
- Biologic treatments are extremely expensive due to the way that they are produced, and will practically require patients to have insurance that covers the majority of the costs
- Biologic treatments generally suppress the immune system in some way, making the body vulnerable to infections, or reactivate latent tuberculosis
- Treatments generally need to be used on a continuing basis
- Many biologics cannot be used during pregnancy
- A periodic check-up with a specialist will often be required to monitor for any side-effects
Biologics are the newest area of psoriasis research, and one that promises great potential. They have been used to treat severe cases of psoriasis, and psoriatic arthritis, and are powerful enough to clear even stubborn cases. Like systemic drugs, they affect the entire body, and its risks are also significant. Additionally, these drugs are extremely costly, and will likely require you to have a generous insurance plan. In some cases, there are foundations that may be able to help you cover the costs. It is important that you communicate clearly with your doctor to understand both the risks as well as potential rewards so that you can make an informed decision.