Biologics are another type of drug –– commonly, an injectable medication –– that dermatologists may use to help treat patients with psoriasis, without causing systemic immune system suppression. Harold Lancer, a Beverly Hills-based board-certified dermatologist, says a biologic is a powerful medication that’s at the forefront of medical advances, as they are derived from living organisms, such as humans, animals, or microorganisms. “They can be made up of sugars, proteins, or DNA, making it possible to treat certain illnesses that other treatments may not be able to,” he says.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), biologic drugs include vaccines and their ingredients often come from living organisms. But biologics used for conditions, such as psoriasis, work differently and more specifically. Annie Gonzalez, a Miami-based board-certified dermatologist, says biologics target specific parts of the immune system, blocking the action of a specific type of immune cell or inflammatory protein involved in immune-mediated diseases, such as psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.