Treatment Options for Psoriasis and Atopic Dermatitis

Title: Therapeutic options in the treatment of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
Author: Gottlieb AB
Publication: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Jul;53(1 Suppl 1):S3-16.

A variety of treatment agents are available for psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (or atopic eczema). Topical agents are usually prescribed for localized and milder forms of the disease, whereas phototherapy using ultraviolet light and systemic agents (or drugs that affect the whole body) are used for more severe disease or those that affect more parts of the body.

Various combinations and sequences of topical and systemic treatments, or both have been used for treating psoriasis and less frequently, for atopic dermatitis.

Conventional systemic therapies for psoriasis, including:

  • Oral calcineurin inhibitors (drugs that inhibit calcineurin, an enzyme involved in inflammation)
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antimetabolites
  • Retinoids (derivatives of vitamin A)

are limited due to their side effects. More recently, immunobiologic agents (drugs that target the immune system and are derived from living organisms or cell cultures) such as:

  • Monoclonal antibodies (protein in the blood and tissues that recognize and bind to specific antigen, thus forming the basis of immunity)
  • Recombinant cytokines (regulatory proteins that are released by the immune system to act as intercellular mediator of immune response)
  • Fusion proteins (proteins composed of two separate domains of two distinct proteins, usually used to impair protein-protein interaction)

have been approved as drugs or are undergoing development as potential anti-psoriatic treatment.

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