Treating Psoriasis Effectively Video

Winter is a particularly hard time for psoriasis sufferers as cold weather is one of its triggers. Psoriasis is often under-treated or the same treatment is continued despite little or no improvement.
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Martin: Jeff Fleming doesn't remember a time he didn't have psoriasis. A recent medical study shows a new era of dramatic symptom improvements maybe in store, and that's encouraging news for the more than 500,000 Canadians with this chronic inflammatory skin disease, which can have a big impact on quality of life. Jeff Fleming: Living with psoriasis, since in early age of about two, at first we don't really notice the disease as much as you notice other people's reactions and you develop a tough -- psoriasis sort of maybe withdrawn and you sort of hold back in life. The winters are bad, so the cold is very harsh on your immune system; your body is trying to fight back. Martin: Cold weather is just one of the triggers of psoriasis. Others can include emotional stress, smoking, alcohol intake and certain medications. Dr. Richard Langley, Professor of Medicine and Director of Dermatology Research at Dalhousie University, says recent developments in psoriasis treatment can offer significant relief from the condition. Dr. Richard Langley: I've patients that I see on a daily basis that have a negative impact due to psoriasis be it because they cant work if it involves their hands, if they can't walk on their feet in general, you can expect that about 12 to 16 weeks that the patient should have achieved adequate response and I think heaven at that point, it's time we've to reconsider. The main way that patients can improve their condition is they can look at some of the more effective therapies that are out there, or there maybe for example moving towards some of the more effective agents such as biologic therapies, which have been recently introduced in Canada and can provide clearance to significant numbers of patients. Jeff Fleming: Of all the various treatments that I've been on since I've had this disease and they are the numerous ones, tar baths, ointments, gels, creams, UVA and UVB light treatments, nothing seems to work in a long-term. When I began taking a Remicade within about six weeks, I noticed the tremendous improvement. Almost about 99% clearance of the disease, the intervals are great; the disease has slowed right down. It's almost like you have evolved, you know you become a new person. Dr. Richard Langley: I think some patients have actually dropped that if the system may become discouraged and certain studies in Canada and the National Psoriasis Foundation have shown that patients are frustrated. They believe that the treatments are ineffective and they are unaware that there have been significant advances in some cases was the goal of therapy is to make patients happy and patients are happy when their psoriasis improved, their arthritis is controlled and ultimately the quality of life is improved. If you can go from 40% to 70% clearance, you're going to have more patients that are happy. Martin: And that's very welcome news this winter for those living with psoriasis. Martin, reporting.

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