Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition characterized by the rapid buildup of skin cells, resulting in thick, red patches with silvery scales. It is caused by an overactive immune system mistakenly attacking healthy skin cells. Psoriasis, which affects 7.5 million Americans, typically appears between ages 15 and 35, but it can emerge at any age. “I’ve had psoriasis since I was about 12 years old,” laments 73-year-old Ann Ransom. “Some days it’s worse than others. I often have it on my legs and elbows; but when I get a really bad breakout, it spreads to my back and stomach as well. “There have been times when 70 percent of my body was covered, and it’s pretty unpleasant. Sometimes, my psoriasis feels like I have a fresh case of poison ivy. Other times, it’s painful like pins and needles or a burning sensation.” In February 2022, Ann began looking for a new dermatologist to manage her psoriasis treatment. Her search eventually ended at Associates in Dermatology, where she was seen by George Anderson, MPAS, PA-C, a board-certified physician assistant who specializes in dermatology.
“When Ms. Ransom presented to our clinic last year, she had been dealing with psoriasis for 60-plus years,” George recalls. “She had tried many treatments, including multiple creams and ointments, but at that time, she was receiving light therapy and using an oral treatment called methotrexate, which is an immunosuppressive medication. “Methotrexate works well, but it has several downsides. It can have many side effects; it suppresses the immune system, which makes the patient susceptible to illness; and anyone taking it must undergo constant blood monitoring.” At the time of her initial appointment, Ann was in the throes of a severe outbreak. Initially, George adjusted her dose of methotrexate, but he later prescribed another oral medication: Otezla® (apremilast). However, Ann could not tolerate the side effects and was forced to stop taking it. At that point, George and Ann began discussing other treatments, including injectable biologics. “Biologics such as HUMIRA®, ENBREL® and STELARA® have been around for many years, but some of them are similar to methotrexate in that they weaken the immune system,” George observes. “Recently, some newer injectable treatments became available that are targeted to the specific pathways in psoriasis. They decrease inflammation but don’t require constant bloodwork or weaken the immune system.” One such offering recently initiated at Associates in Dermatology is TREMFYA® (guselkumab). George recommended TREMFYA for Ann, who has responded well to it. “Her psoriasis is improving spectacularly, and she has no side effects,” George confirms. “The TREMFYA has worked pretty well,” Ann elaborates. “My psoriasis has backed off quite a bit, which is great. I still have it on my fingertips and elbows, and there’s a bit on my legs, but overall, I had an excellent result. “I’m very satisfied with Associates in Dermatology. Mr. Anderson is very helpful and willing to try new things. It’s nice to have someone who pays attention. I’ve recommended the practice to many people.”