Should you stop treating psoriasis with a biologic during the coronavirus pandemic?
Biologic medications during coronavirus pandemic
Biologic medications work on your immune system, so you may wonder if you should continue to use yours during the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s what dermatologists recommend.
If you’re using a biologic to treat psoriasis, you may wonder if it’s increasing your risk of developing the coronavirus. After all, a biologic works by calming down part of your immune system.
This may lead you to think about stopping your biologic. Before you change your treatment, the American Academy of Dermatology strongly recommends that you talk with your dermatologist. When you contact your dermatologist, share your concerns. Your dermatologist can balance your concerns with what you need to stay your healthiest.
What to tell your dermatologist
To get the best advice, it’s vital to tell your dermatologist if you have:
Any coronavirus symptoms: These include fever, dry cough (no mucous), feeling very tired, feeling sick to your stomach, diarrhea, or problems breathing.
Had a positive test for the coronavirus.
Been in contact with someone who has had a positive test for the coronavirus.
A job that still requires you to work outside your home.
Concerns due to your age.
A condition other than psoriasis: Be sure to mention high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and any disease that affects your heart, kidneys, liver, or lungs.
Smoked cigarettes within the past year.
Other tips to stay healthy during the coronavirus pandemic
As the pandemic evolves, try to remain calm and rely on your dermatologist’s training and expertise to guide you.
To avoid getting and spreading the coronavirus infection, practice healthy habits and social distancing. Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Wear a nose and mouth covering or mask when you are outside your home.
To keep yourself as healthy as you can, continue your psoriasis treatment. You can follow up with your dermatologist through telemedicine. This allows you to keep your appointments with your dermatologist from the comfort and safety of your home. It also helps conserve personal protective equipment, such as masks, patient gowns, and gloves.
Dermatologists continue to help patients with pressing needs
The pandemic has brought many changes in our lives. During this time, it can be comforting to know that one thing remains the same. You can continue to rely on a dermatologist’s expertise to help with you safely manage your psoriasis.
For more information about how to protect your health, visit the AAD Coronavirus Resource Center.
American Academy of Dermatology. “Guidance on the use of immunosuppressive agents.” Prepared April 14, 2020. Last accessed April 16, 2020.
Green LJ. “Psoriasis therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic: Should patients continue biologics?” The Hospitalist. March 23, 2020. Last accessed March 31, 2020.