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Health Care The Invisible Impact of Moderate-to-Severe Plaque Psoriasis

The Invisible Impact of Moderate-to-Severe Plaque Psoriasis

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(BPT) – New Survey Uncovers Debilitating Symptoms, Uncomfortable Encounters and Intimacy Struggles that Impact the Everyday Lives of People with this Chronic Autoimmune Disease

Are you one of the 6.4 million people in the U.S. living with plaque psoriasis?i If not, chances are you know someone who is impacted by this chronic autoimmune disease. Nearly 2 million of these people have moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, meaning that more than 3% of their skin is covered with visible symptoms.ii

While psoriasis symptoms appear on the skin as patches of thick red skin and silvery scales, a recent survey of 500 people with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis revealed that its overall effect can go much deeper — having an invisible impact on people’s everyday lives.

Dr. April W. Armstrong, professor of dermatology (clinical scholar), associate dean of clinical research at Keck School of Medicine at USC, provides insight on moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis and advice on how to get back to what matters most.

Uncomfortable Encounters

Survey Says:

  • More than three-quarters (76%) of people often or sometimes felt embarrassed by the flakes they leave behind
  • Nearly half of people often or sometimes felt humiliated (44%) or have been asked if they are contagious (47%)
  • Nearly a third of people reported devastating acts of bullying (28%) or discrimination (30%)
  • One in three people would like help with coping strategies (38%) and emotional support (34%)

Dr. Armstrong’s Advice:

Remember, you are not alone! There are others who share your experiences with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. Connecting with others who have similar experiences can be really helpful. I often advise my patients to find a support group or get involved with an advocacy organization like the National Psoriasis Foundation.”

Intimacy Struggles

Survey Says:

1 out of 2 people often or sometimes:

  • Try to keep themselves away from social situations (53%)
  • Avoid intimacy (52%)
  • Cannot bear someone touching their skin (52%)
  • Feel inadequate around their spouse/partner (46%)

1 out of 4 people:

  • Cannot or no longer feel comfortable with dating, sex or intimacy (25%)
  • Have had relationships end due to their moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis (24%)

Dr. Armstrong’s Advice:

“Although it may be uncomfortable talking to your doctor about your relationships, it’s important to be open and honest, as it could help with your treatment journey. When it comes to relationships, I tell my patients to also be open with their family, friends and partners. Honest conversations can be healing and create an open space to feel more comfortable.”

Debilitating Symptoms

Survey Says:

Approximately 7 in 10 people reported…

  • Symptoms are debilitating (68%)
  • Flare-ups have affected my life (70%)
  • Constant flaking (66%) and itching (63%)
  • Both disease and symptoms challenge me from doing what matters most (66%)

Additionally, nearly half reported feeling overwhelmed about their treatment options (44%) and wish they could receive help with selecting a treatment (48%).

Dr. Armstrong’s Advice:

“Living with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis can be challenging. Patients can often experience debilitating symptoms and flare ups such as constant flaking and itching. It’s important to find a doctor that is experienced in treating psoriasis so they can help you navigate the treatment landscape. Don’t be shy about telling them how this condition affects your life beyond your skin!”

Moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis cannot be cured yet, but the physical symptoms can be effectively managed with treatments including topicals, phototherapy, orals and biologics like ILUMYA™. Given by your doctor four times a year following two starter doses, ILUMYA™ slows the action of the IL-23 molecules involved in the inflammation, helping to reduce the redness, flaking, and plaque thickness you see on your skin. ILUMYA is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis who may benefit from taking injections, pills, or phototherapy. Before starting any treatment, be sure to talk to your doctor and review the important safety information to understand the potential risks. The most common (≥1%) adverse reactions associated with ILUMYA™ are upper respiratory infections, infection site reactions, and diarrhea.

Successfully managing moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis can allow people to shift their focus to doing what matters most in their lives. People living with moderate-to-severe psoriasis should talk to their doctor to determine what treatment option may be right for them. For more information about the survey, this chronic autoimmune condition and one biologic treatment option, visit ILUMYA.com/about-plaque-psoriasis.

The “What Matters Most” online survey was conducted in 2019 among 500 adults age 22-72 with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, by Dynata for TRUE Global Intelligence, on behalf of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc.


ILUMYA (tildrakizumab-asmn) is a humanized lgG1/k monoclonal antibody designed to selectively bind to the p19 subunit of interleukin-23 (IL-23) and inhibit its interaction with the IL-23 receptor, leading to inhibition of the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. ILUMYA is indicated for the treatment of adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy, in the United States. ILUMYA has also been approved for moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis in Australia and under the brand name ILUMETRI in Europe.


Please click here for Full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide.


ILUMYA is contraindicated in patients with a previous serious hypersensitivity reaction to tildrakizumab or to any of the excipients.


Hypersensitivity: Cases of angioedema and urticaria occurred in ILUMYA-treated subjects in clinical trials. If a serious allergic reaction occurs, discontinue ILUMYA immediately and initiate appropriate therapy.

Infections: ILUMYA may increase the risk of infection. Treatment with ILUMYA should not be initiated in patients with a clinically important active infection until the infection resolves or is adequately treated. Consider the risks and benefits of treatment prior to prescribing ILUMYA in patients with a chronic infection or a history of recurrent infection. Instruct patients receiving ILUMYA to seek medical help if signs or symptoms of clinically important chronic or acute infection occur. If a patient develops a clinically important or serious infection, or is not responding to standard therapy, closely monitor and consider discontinuation of ILUMYA until the infection resolves.

Pretreatment Evaluation for Tuberculosis: Evaluate patients for tuberculosis (TB) infection prior to initiating treatment with ILUMYA. Do not administer ILUMYA to patients with active TB infection. Initiate treatment of latent TB prior to administering ILUMYA. Consider anti-TB therapy prior to initiation of ILUMYA in patients with a past history of latent or active TB in whom an adequate course of treatment cannot be confirmed. Patients receiving ILUMYA should be monitored closely for signs and symptoms of active TB during and after treatment.

Immunizations: Prior to initiating therapy with ILUMYA, consider completion of all age-appropriate immunizations according to current immunization guidelines. Patients treated with ILUMYA should not receive live vaccines.

Adverse Reactions: The most common (≥1%) adverse reactions associated with ILUMYA treatment that were more frequent than in the placebo group are upper respiratory infections, injection-site reactions, and diarrhea.

[i] American Academy of Dermatology. What is Psoriasis? October 2019.

[ii] Menter A et al. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008;58(5):826–850.

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