New guidance for treating your psoriasis patients

To help physicians treat the millions of people affected by psoriasis and improve their quality of life, the American Academy of Dermatology and the National Psoriasis Foundation have released two sections of the new guidelines outlining best practices for managing this immune-mediated disease: biologics and comorbidities.

The guidelines, which were published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology on Feb. 13, 2019, were developed by an expert work group composed of dermatologists, a cardiologist, a rheumatologist and patient representatives.

“Joint AAD-NPF guidelines of care for the management and treatment of psoriasis with biologics

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 guidelines describe 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, M.D., FAAD, co-chair of the guidelines work group. Menter is the chair of the Division of Dermatology and director of the Dermatology Residency Program at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. He received an NPF Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

“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,” he says.

“Joint AAD-NPF guidelines of care for the management and treatment of psoriasis with awareness and attention to comorbidities

Focuses on the other health conditions that may be associated with the disease, including psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. The guidelines also address 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, M.D., FAAD, who co-chairs the work group with Menter. “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.”

The two summaries of guidelines published in February are the first installments in a series of six, with four other psoriasis guidelines slated for publication in JAAD in 2019. Upcoming guidelines will address:

  • Phototherapy
  • Pediatric patients
  • Non-biologics
  • Topical