Psoriasis affects seven to eight million people in the United States. It is a condition where the skin multiplies 10-times faster than normal causing red, scaly patches on the skin. Now, doctors say a drug used for arthritis and Crohn's disease is also helpful for people with psoriasis.
Mark Bishop loves the outdoors. But for the last 15 years, he'd only wear long sleeve shirts and long pants.
Bishop has psoriasis, a skin condition that creates red patchy, scales over 60 percent of his body. He's tried countless treatments, but nothing helped.
"It's really an emotionally disfiguring disease, very, very emotionally scarring," said dermatologist Boni Elewski, M.D., of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr. Elewski says a new class of drugs called biologics offers hope to patients. Remicade® (infliximab) is one of those drugs.
"Patients who get this drug clear up so quick that I've never seen anything like this before," Dr. Elewski said.
Initial treatment consists of three, three-hour infusions of the drug.
"I'm very exited about being a physician now because we really can offer hope to these patients suffering with this disease," said Dr. Elewski.
Bishop received Remicade as part of a study last summer. His entire body cleared up.
"Being a big old boy like I am, I was even proud to wear shorts and get out where people could see me in them," Bishop said.
Bishop's psoriasis returned while he was waiting for his insurance to cover the treatment. Now, he's ready to start the infusions again and say goodbye to his disease once and for all.
Dr. Elewski says every psoriasis patient she has treated has responded to this drug. To learn more about this drug, log onto http://www.remicade.com.
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