New Psoriasis Guidelines Address Comorbidities and Biologic Treatment

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) collaborated on—and have published—new guidelines of care for psoriasis, which are being published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. An expert work group composed of several dermatologists, as well as a cardiologist, a rheumatologist and patient representatives developed the guidelines.

Joint AAD-NPF guidelines of care for the management and treatment of psoriasis with awareness and attention to comorbidities focuses on other health conditions that may be associated with the disease, including psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. The guideline also addresses the increased risk of anxiety and depression in psoriasis patients, as well as the effects of smoking and alcohol consumption, which can increase one’s risk of developing the disease or make the condition worse in those who already have it.

“We believe this guideline will be a vital resource in the treatment of psoriasis,” says board-certified dermatologist Craig A. Elmets, MD, FAAD, co-chair of the work group that developed the guidelines. “Doctors should be aware of the conditions associated with this disease, educate patients accordingly, and work with those patients and other physicians to ensure that each patient receives the appropriate screening and treatment.”

Joint AAD-NPF guidelines of care for the management and treatment of psoriasis with biologics provides an overview of the biologic medications available for the treatment of moderate to severe psoriasis. In addition to outlining the research on these drugs’ effectiveness and recommendations for their use, the guideline describes the potential adverse effects of each biologic.

“Before starting any psoriasis treatment, it’s important for patients to understand its potential effects, both positive and negative,” says board certified dermatologist Alan Menter, MD, FAAD, co-chair of the guidelines work group. “This guideline provides physicians with the information they need to discuss biologic medications with their patients and help them choose the treatment plan that’s best for them.”

These two guidelines are the first installments in a series of six, with four other psoriasis guidelines slated for publication in JAAD in the coming months. Upcoming guidelines will address phototherapy, the treatment of pediatric patients, non-biologic systemic medications and topical therapy.

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