This article looks at methotrexate for psoriasis treatment. Psoriasis on it’s own is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin, nails and body joint. A common feature of psoriasis is the dryness and reddish patches found on the skin. Psoriasis also happens on the knees and elbows, finger nails and the toes. The later effects on the knees and toes is termed psoriatic nail dystrophy.
One of the common features of psoriasis is that it sufferers often experience flare ups which comes and goes. Medical experts believe that the cause of psoriasis could either be genetics or environmental issues. There are instances were stress, alcohol and even smoking can trigger up this condition.
An autoimmune disease, psoriasis affects the skin, nails, and joints of the body. Excessive skin production results in dry, red, patches forming on the skin called psoriatic plaques that can occur in any part of the body, but are more common in the knees and elbows. Psoriasis can also affect the fingernails and toenails, a condition known as psoriatic nail dystrophy. Studies have shown that about two percent of the world’s population suffer from psoriasis.
Psoriasis symptoms can flare up on and off during a sufferer’s life, and conditions vary from mild to severe. The skin has a faint reddish tinge in mild cases, and in severe cases, thick, scaly plaques can cover the entire body. According to medical researchers, both environmental and genetic factors have a lot to do with the development of psoriasis. In certain cases, stress, alcohol consumption, and smoking can trigger the development of psoriasis.
Methotrexate psoriasis is known as the last bus stop for most psoriasis sufferers, after having tried phototherapy, photochemotherapy and other creams.
Methotrexate is a systematic treatment offered to psoriasis sufferers. It can be administered through injection or oral pills.The drug is known to be a toxic immunosuppressant treatment.
Methotrexate psoriasis treatment works by reducing the rate at which the skin cells are produced and then suppressing the auto immundefiecency thus reducing the inflammatory symptoms.
Another use of methotrexate treatment is for psoriatic arthritis. This form of psoriasis affects the joint, thus leading to a form of arthritis.
Methotrexate psoriasis treatment also comes with it’s own horror of side effects.Patients have reported experiencing stomach cramps and loss of appetite when they take the medication in high dose.
This treatment aims at the immune system so bad that it can alter and disturb the bodies natural healing process. When such things happen, the body is left vulnerable to infectious diseases that would have been prevented if the immune system was function properly.
Other side effects include high blood pressure, high glucose level, weak immune system, stomach ulcer, kidney and liver cell damage.
Methotrexate psoriasis therapy is a treatment used when other treatments have failed to give relief to the patient. For instance, phototherapy and photochemotherapy may be used on the patient when the application of creams and ointments offer no improvement in the condition.
If there is no improvement after topical treatment and phototherapy, then systemic treatment – potentially toxic medications – may be prescribed. Systemic medications are either administered by injection, or available as oral pills. Methotrexate psoriasis therapy is a popular systemic treatment. This involves giving the patient methotrexate pills – an immunosuppressant of folic acid analogue.
This treatment lowers the production of skin cells and reduces the responses of the immune system that decreases the chances of inflammation. Methotrexate psoriasis therapy is also very effective when used to slow down the progression of psoriatic arthritis.
Although very popular in the treatment of psoriasis, it must be mentioned that methotrexate psoriasis therapy also has many potential risks and side effects that can cause other health complications. For instance, if taken in higher doses, it could very well result in loss of appetite and stomach cramps.
This drug homes in on the body’s immune system, so disturbs the natural healing mechanism of the body. The body may become susceptible to infections or infectious diseases if methotrexate is used for too long. Other side effects of methotrexate psoriasis therapy includes an immune system that is weakened, high blood pressure, blood glucose level that is not normal, stomach ulcer, and kidney and liver cell damage.
In summary, methotrexate psoriasis treatment is the last option used by most psoriasis sufferers when other treatments fail. This treatment is only prescribed on a rational basis due to it’s side effects. Usually patients would have this treatment for 6 to 12 months, after which it a less toxic treatment is replaced to prevent further damage and side effects.
So as to avoid the long-term side effects of methotrexate psoriasis therapy, rotational therapy is usually prescribed. After a six to twelve month period of taking the drug, it is usually replaced by a less toxic medication – this results in the reduction of damage to other body parts.