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The Latest Treatments and Breakthroughs Around Psoriasis

Posted on 16.08.2019
According to the NHS, roughly 2% of the population have psoriasis. It is defined there as “a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales”. It is most commonly found on elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere on the body. The severity also varies from person to person and it is a chronic condition, which means that symptoms can fluctuate but it can never be fully cured.
Psoriasis is caused by the overproduction of skin cells. These are normally made and replaced every 3 to 4 weeks, but for people with psoriasis this process only takes about 3 to 7 days. It remains a condition that is not wholly understood, although medicine now agrees it is involved with the immune system, which attacks healthy skin cells by mistake in people with psoriasis.   
When the immune system’s involvement was discovered in the 1960s and 70s, treatments that used corticosteroids, cyclosporine, and methotrexate became mainstays for managing the disease. For the next couple of decades, that remained the same with very few advances in treatment due to lack of interest and funding.
That has changed recently, with one relatively new drug named Taltz generating $606m over the first half of the year. This belongs to a family of drugs known as biologics that were discovered as research into other autoimmune diseases brought new insights about the immune system. The conclusion was that some of the issues that arose in those conditions were also active in psoriasis.
Instead of the usual topical creams or steroids, biologics target specific areas of the immune system and consist of lab-made proteins or antibodies. These are injected, blocking the part of the immune system that causes psoriasis symptoms. 
According to, “the biologics used to treat psoriatic disease block the action of a specific type of immune cell called a T-cell, or block protein, in the immune system, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin 17-A or interleukins-12 and -23. These cells and proteins all play a major role in developing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.”
There are risks that come with biologics, such as an increased risk of infection. However, they are effective, with clinical trials showing that psoriatic activity was lowered by at least 75% in many patients. They offer real hope to many suffering from the disease which can not only cause depression and huge issues with self-image and confidence, but also develop into psoriatic arthritis, an incredibly painful chronic condition.
If you’d like to have a chat about our current medical roles, then get in touch with one of our experienced recruitment consultants. Call 020 8505 6600 or email      
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