Written By Kevin Kerfoot / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Patients with psoriasis who are taking drugs that affect their immune system have high rates of survival – over 90 percent - from COVID-19, says research from the PsoProtect global registry - a web-based PsoProtect registry established to understand how psoriasis and the medications that are used to treat it might influence the severity of COVID-19.
The study - published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology - found that - similarly to the general population - patients who were older, male, of non-white ethnicity and with other health conditions such as chronic lung disease, were more likely to require hospital admission for their COVID-19 infection.
Patients with moderate to severe disease are treated with drugs that affect the immune system including biologics that target specific immune proteins, or traditional tablet immunosuppressants, and many of these patients were asked to shield during the pandemic. Most of the cases – 93 percent - fully recovered from COVID-19, 21 percent were hospitalized and two percent died.
"Our analysis is important for informing our conversations with patients as the pandemic continues,” says Dr. Satveer Mahil, a consultant dermatologist at the St John's Institute of Dermatology at Guy's and St Thomas'. “We can reassure our patients that the survival for people with psoriasis is high, and the risk factors for psoriasis patients are similar to those of the general population. These findings wouldn't be possible without all the clinicians who have reported cases to PsoProtect and the invaluable support of our partner professional and patient organizations."
"From the beginning of the pandemic we understood the importance of being proactive in order to address the many concerns expressed by people who are living with psoriasis,” added Helen McAteer, Chief Executive of the Psoriasis Association. “The PsoProtect registry is vital in helping us understand more about the interactions between psoriasis, its treatments and COVID-19 infection so patients can make the most informed choices about their care and treatment at this challenging time."
The registry was founded by dermatologists and researchers at the St. John's Institute of Dermatology at Guy's and St. Thomas', King's College London and University of Manchester. The registry is supported by psoriasis patient organizations throughout the world, including the Psoriasis Association in the UK. The researchers found that the risk factors of severe COVID-19 outcomes in patients reported to the registry were similar to the general population.
Psoriasis patients and alternative medicine
Patients with psoriasis frequently use complementary or alternative therapies to treat their symptoms, according to survey results published by dermatologists from the George Washington University in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
The survey - distributed by the National Psoriasis Foundation - found that patients with psoriasis typically turned to complementary or alternative medicine when their traditional medications failed or presented harsh side effects. They reported using complementary and alternative medicine that had not previously exhibited efficacy or been studied for the treatment of psoriasis.
Vitamins D and B12 were frequently reported, though neither of which have documented efficacy against the disease. In contrast, indigo naturalis - a plant extract widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and recognized as a therapy for several inflammatory conditions - has shown efficacy, but was not reported in the survey. Dead Sea treatments were commonly reported and have shown therapeutic benefit.
"Patients turn to these treatments because what was initially prescribed is not working out for them," says Adam Friedman, MD, interim chair of the Department of Dermatology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. "But what we found through the survey is that patients may not completely understand what products will work best for them. In addition to the chosen treatments, we also found that less than half of the respondents would recommend complementary or alternative therapies to others. This could be a result of using therapies supported by limited evidence."
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With over 30 years of writing and editing experience for newspapers, magazines and corporate communications, Kevin Kerfoot writes about natural health, nutrition, skincare and oral hygiene for Trusted Health Products’ natural health blog and newsletters.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.