Psoriasis: Treating the Skin and the Mind

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Sheida Naderi-Azad

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Abstract

Psoriasis is a debilitating autoimmune disease defined by erythematous, pruritic and scaly plaques. Yet this disease also has numerous extracutaneous associations including depression, heart disease, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. The combination of physical and mental manifestations of psoriasis can be explained by inflammatory cytokines that act on both skin cells to create scaly patches, and brain cells to alter ones mental state. In light of such discoveries, this paper discusses the novel use of psoriasis medications such as TNF-alpha blockers, anti-interleukin-12/23 antibodies, and anti-interleukin-17 antibodies to address mood and anxiety disorders.