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New Teen Psoriasis Treatment

Leah Sarich | posted Friday, Jan 22nd, 2016


Randy Kneubuler says, “it’s really tough being a teenager with skin problems.” He should know. He was diagnosed with psoriasis at the age of five, but says the junior high and high school years have been a real challenge.

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease where skin cells divide up to ten times faster than normal skin cells. This process results in raised red spots on the skin that are itchy and painful. Pediatric Dermatologist Dr. Vimal Prajapati says these red areas most commonly occur on the elbows, knees and scalp. These are visible areas and Randy says kids can be mean and that causes him anxiety and hurts his self confidence and self esteem.

Randy had tried everything, speaking of his suitcase full of various skin creams. But then Dr. Prajapati put him on a new biologic medication called Stelara. This drug has just recently been approved for use in young people aged 12 to 17 with moderate to severe psoriasis. Randy says he started seeing improvement within a week of being on this medication and that his skin is starting to clear up dramatically. This improvement has helped to improve his confidence and self esteem.

Stelara is given by injection… about five a year. And Dr. Prajapati says it has very few side effects, the most common being an increase in common infections like the common cold or a sore throat. But the frequency of these infections is quite low.

This medication is very expensive. But some extended drug plans do cover it, and in certain cases the drug company that makes it may help out an individual patient.

Dr. Prajapati says when psoriasis is not treated adequately in this age group, the disease has a tremendous social and emotional burden. It can lead to depression, anxiety, isolation and more. This is why Dr. Prajapati is so thrilled with Stelara. Randy says the medication has changed his life completely. He’s now ready to look forward to graduation and his life ahead.

For more information on psoriasis visit this website. For more information on Stelara go here. 



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