The latest news that has grabbed the attention of those suffering from plaque psoriasis, is the FDA’s approval of ustekinumab (Stelara, Janssen Biotech, Inc). Eligible patients include those 12 years of age and older with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for phototherapy or systemic therapy. This gives hope to the those living with the disease, as one-third of those who develop this form of psoriasis do so before age 20.
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease. It appears on the skin as raised, red patches with a white buildup of dead skin cells on top. They are typically itchy and can cause pain due to the patches cracking and bleeding. You will typically see them on the patient’s scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back.
Phototherapy is a way of treatment that exposes the skin to ultraviolet light on a regular basis under medical supervision. Systemic treatments consist of medications that patients use when other methods prove unresponsive. They can be taken orally, by injection, or by infusion.
The approval of ustekinumab for those in their teen years was based on a phase three study, where two-thirds of patients aged 12 to 17 showed clear skin or minimal psoriasis in the 12th week of treatment. The treatment is administered subcutaneously in weeks zero and four, as well as every 12 weeks after.
Ustekinumab has also been approved in the United States for adults suffering from active psoriatic arthritis and in patients who are intolerant to other treatments. It is also used as a treatment for moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease that is refractory to other therapies.
At Windsor Dermatology, we specialize in understanding psoriasis and are home to the Psoriasis Treatment Center of Central New Jersey. As the state’s first complete facility for advanced psoriasis clinical research, we make sure to keep up with the most recent treatments available to patients and are happy to sit down with you to discuss which method is right for you and your skin. Call us at 609-442-4500 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bagel, our trusted Medical Director and psoriasis specialist. Nobody should have to feel uncomfortable in their skin.