New treatment targets for psoriasis

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) has issued new guidelines and treatment goals for plaque psoriasis to help clinicians adjust therapies and better evaluate patient progress. Plaque psoriasis is one of the forms that tends to be somewhat common in those age 60 and older.

Twenty-five psoriasis experts contributed to the consensus report, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. The treatment targets are the first to be introduced in the United States for the disease.

The researchers recommended the body surface area (BSA) method for calculating baseline and subsequent evaluations, and identified the best time for re-evaluation as three months from the beginning of treatment or a change in therapy. While the target response is a BSA score of 1 percent or less, a BSA of 3 percent would still be considered acceptable, the authors wrote.

As an inflammatory disease, psoriasis often is associated with other chronic illnesses, including inflammatory arthritis, cardiovascular disease and severe depression. Despite several available treatments, more than 50 percent of those with psoriasis in the United States are dissatisfied with their treatment progress, the authors note.

The disease can be especially troublesome to older people, whose aging skin may be more susceptible to outbreaks and infection. Older people with psoriasis also may find their conditions worsened by medications taken for other reasons, notes the Dermatology Times.

Topics: Clinical