The FDA recently approved a drug to treat plaque psoriasis, which is characterized by patches of thick, red skin and silvery scales that most commonly form on the elbows, knees, scalp, face, and folds in the skin. Psoriasis patches appear as a result of the body’s immune system attacking healthy skin by mistake, causing excess skin cell production.
The good news is that, in clinical trials involving 2,403 psoriasis patients, more than 80% of the patients taking secukinumab (Cosentyx) saw 75% or more of their symptoms disappear. After three months, nearly two-thirds (65%) of those taking secukinumab assessed their psoriasis symptoms at “0” or “1” on a disease assessment scale, indicating that their skin was totally (or almost totally) clear.
No one psoriasis treatment is best for everyone, and psoriasis is not always persistent and may go through periods of improvement or worsening. It has only recently been discovered that the protein interleukin (IL)-17A plays a role in plaque psoriasis development by triggering an inflammatory response from the immune system.