Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors may result in weight gain in Psoriasis patients

In a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the use of tumor necrosis factor inhibitors was associated with an increase in body weight and body mass index. Consideration for other treatments should be considered for patients who are overweight or obese.

Commonly used tumor necrosis factor inhibitors:

  • Adalimumab (Humira®)
  • Certolizumab pegol (Cimzia®)
  • Etanercept (Enbrel®)
  • Golimumab (Simponi®, Simponi Aria®)
  • Infliximab (Remicade®)


Many Biologics used to treat Psoriasis increase the risk of skin cancer

In an article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, individuals “with psoriasis who were treated with biologics had an increased incidence of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.” The risk increased by over 42% in those exposed to the TNF-alpha biololics, which include:

infliximab[7] (Remicade), adalimumab (Humira), certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), and golimumab (Simponi), or with a circulating receptor fusion protein such as etanercept (Enbrel) which may also affect skin cancer risk.

Thalidomide (Immunoprin) and its derivatives lenalidomide (Revlimid) and pomalidomide (Pomalyst, Imnovid) are also active against TNF and may affect skin cancer rates.

Xanthine derivatives[8] (e.g. pentoxifylline)[9] and bupropion.[10] Bupropion is the active ingredient in the smoking cessation aid Zyban and the antidepressants Wellbutrin and Aplenzin and may have an effect on skin cancer rates.

Psoriasis Treatments work in 20%

Treatments Only Effective For 20% Of Psoriasis Patients.

AFP-Relaxnews (2/3) reported findings in a study published online in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment, psoriasis “treatments are only effective for 20%” after 3  months of treatment.  The study authors “suggest that patients with moderate to severe psoriasis using conventional systemic treatments should consider biologics,” while “patients already receiving biologics should envisage new therapeutic strategies.”

What does this mean for psoriasis patients?

Patience. Have patience. I tell my patients that there are thousands of prescription and over-the-counter psoriasis products. It is basically trial and error to find the most effective treatment for an individual. Treatment failure does not mean that the doctor did something wrong or was a “bad doctor”, which I hear often. This study confirms that in fact, most patients (4/5) will  not have success.

Obesity and Type II Diabetes linked to Psoriasis

In a study published in JAMA, persons with Type II diabetes or obesity were at significantly increased risk of developing  psoriasis.

Obesity is a significant risk factor for type II diabetes as well.

Therefore, eating a good healthy diet that is low in saturated fats and simple carbohydrates, exercising regularly, and maintaining an ideal weight is beneficial  to one’s skin.

Low-calorie diet may lead to improvement of psoriasis

In a study published online in JAMA Dermatology, psoriasis patients who were put on a low-calorie diet had improvement of their quality of life and their psoriasis severity. These findings, although encouraging, were not statistically significant. For those suffering from psoriasis who can afford to lose a few lbs., here is another reason to get started on that diet.

Free Online Psoriasis Treatment Tracking System @ www.vectical.com

Galderma has launched  the Treatment Tracker, a free online program that allows patients to have a private, online diary that will keep a record of their:

  • signs and symptoms
  • treatment history
  • photos
  • upcoming Dermatologist appointments

In addition, this program provides a list of potential psoriasis triggers, which can be customized to help patients manage their symptoms. This program is available for free at www.vectical.com.