A Psoriasis Journey: What Worked for Me

(BPT) - It all started during the lead-up to Allen’s wedding, a less-than-ideal time to start experiencing red, flaky skin on his face. With plenty to focus on, he applied lotion and moved on. But the dry, itchy patches didn’t go away. In fact, they started spreading to other visible areas of his body.

“It became something I was really conscious of,” said Allen. “People noticed the flaking and scratching. I dreaded summer and avoided wearing clothes that exposed my skin. Social settings I used to enjoy became a burden. I felt embarrassed about the plaques on my skin.”

It took six months, but Allen finally went to see a dermatologist, who diagnosed him with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes itchy, red, flaky and sometimes painful patches, known as “plaques,” to appear on skin.

That diagnosis was more than 30 years ago.

Since then, Allen has lived with the condition and tried many different treatments—steroid creams, UV light and systemic medicines, all with varying degrees of success.

“Given the challenges and lack of clearance I experienced along the way, I was reluctant to start another treatment,” said Allen. “The challenge was going back to my dermatologist and talking through next steps. I would stop treatment and my condition would get worse, so I’d try something else and end up repeating the whole process. The emotional roller coaster was exhausting. Over time, I ended up having low expectations for how other treatments would work.”

Over the years, Allen saw five dermatologists.

The buildup of things like not being comfortable going swimming in the ocean during an annual family trip to Hawaii kept him open-minded about other treatment options. Then Allen met Dr. Andrew Blauvelt, M.D., M.B.A., board-certified dermatologist and president of Oregon Medical Research Center, who enrolled Allen in a clinical trial for an investigational new medicine—a move that eventually changed the way he managed his moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

“There are thousands of people like Allen across the country struggling to effectively manage moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,” said Dr. Blauvelt. “To help achieve the results you want, you need to be open and honest and have conversations with your dermatologists about your treatment goals.”

Dr. Blauvelt recommended that Allen join the clinical trial for SKYRIZI® (risankizumab-rzaa), an investigational biologic medicine that went on to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2019 as a prescription medicine to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.

“I knew I wanted more from my treatment. But, because I hadn’t seen much improvement, I had gotten to a place where I settled until Dr. Blauvelt told me about the SKYRIZI clinical trial. When I learned more about how SKYRIZI works, its safety considerations, and discussed it with Dr. Blauvelt as a treatment option that might be a good fit for me, I felt more hopeful than I had in years and optimistic.”

At four months, and after two treatment doses of SKYRIZI in the clinical trial, Allen’s thick plaques were almost clear. Allen is not alone. In clinical trials, 3 out of 4 people achieved 90 percent clearer skin at four months after just two doses. Of those who achieved 90 percent clearer skin, nearly 9 out of 10 people sustained 90 percent clearer skin through one year. Maintenance treatment with SKYRIZI is four doses a year, after two starter doses. Each dose is two injections and there are twelve weeks between doses.

SKYRIZI may cause serious side effects, including risk of infections. Before starting treatment, your doctor should check you for infections and tuberculosis. Tell your doctor right away if you have an infection or symptoms of one. Also, tell your doctor if you plan to or recently received a vaccine.

“I don’t even think about having plaques on my skin anymore. SKYRIZI has been an effective treatment for me,” said Allen. “Now, I focus on living without thinking about making sure my clothing hides my skin.”

Allen’s journey with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis is like many others living with this chronic condition and trying to find the right treatment that works for them. By sharing his story, Allen hopes to encourage others to have open and honest conversations with their dermatologist and to strive to reach their treatment goals. Learn more about SKYRIZI (risankizumab-rzaa) 75mg/0.83mL injection, an FDA-approved treatment for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, and partnering with your dermatologist at SKYRIZI.com.

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USE for SKYRIZI® (risankizumab-rzaa)

SKYRIZI is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or treatment using ultraviolet or UV light (phototherapy).

Important Safety Information

What is the most important information I should know about SKYRIZI® (risankizumab-rzaa)?

SKYRIZI may cause serious side effects, including infections. SKYRIZI is a prescription medicine that may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. Your healthcare provider should check you for infections and tuberculosis (TB) before starting treatment with SKYRIZI and may treat you for TB before you begin treatment with SKYRIZI if you have a history of TB or have active TB. Your healthcare provider should watch you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during and after treatment with SKYRIZI.

  • Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection, including:
    –fever, sweats, or chills
    –muscle aches
    –weight loss
    –cough
    –warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body different from your psoriasis
    –diarrhea or stomach pain
    –shortness of breath
    –blood in your mucus (phlegm)
    –burning when you urinate or urinating more often than normal

Before using SKYRIZI, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions,

including if you:

  • have any of the conditions or symptoms listed in the section “What is the most important information I should know about SKYRIZI?”
  • have an infection that does not go away or that keeps coming back.
  • have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB.
  • have recently received or are scheduled to receive an immunization (vaccine). You should avoid receiving live vaccines during treatment with SKYRIZI.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if SKYRIZI can harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if SKYRIZI passes into your breast milk.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

What are the possible side effects of SKYRIZI?

SKYRIZI may cause serious side effects. See “What is the most important information I should know about SKYRIZI?”

The most common side effects of SKYRIZI include upper respiratory infections, fungal skin infections, headache, feeling tired, and injection site reactions.

These are not all the possible side effects of SKYRIZI. Call your doctor for medical advice about

side effects.

Use SKYRIZI exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to use it.

Please see the Full Prescribing Information, including the Medication Guide, for SKYRIZI.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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