It all started during the lead-up to Allen’s wedding, a less-than-ideal time to start experiencing red, flaky skin on his face. With plenty to focus on, he applied lotion and moved on. But the dry, itchy patches didn’t go away. In fact, they started spreading to other visible areas of his body.
“It became something I was really conscious of,” said Allen. “People noticed the flaking and scratching. I dreaded summer and avoided wearing clothes that exposed my skin.”
Allen finally went to see a dermatologist, who diagnosed him with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes itchy, red, flaky and sometimes painful patches, known as “plaques,” to appear on skin.
That diagnosis was more than 30 years ago.
Since then, Allen has lived with the condition and tried many different treatments — steroid creams, UV light, and systemic medicines, all with varying degrees of success.
“Given the challenges and lack of clearance I experienced along the way, I was reluctant to start another treatment,” said Allen. “I would stop treatment and my condition would get worse, so I’d try something else and end up repeating the whole process. Over time, I ended up having low expectations for how other treatments would work.”
Finally, Allen met Dr. Andrew Blauvelt, M.D., M.B.A., board-certified dermatologist and president of Oregon Medical Research Center.
“There are thousands of people like Allen across the country struggling to effectively manage moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,” said Dr. Blauvelt. “To help achieve the results you want, you need to be open and honest and have conversations with your dermatologists about your treatment goals.”
Dr. Blauvelt recommended that Allen join the clinical trial for SKYRIZI® (risankizumab-rzaa), an investigational biologic medicine that went on to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2019 as a prescription medicine to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
“I knew I wanted more from my treatment. But, because I hadn’t seen much improvement, I had gotten to a place where I settled until Dr. Blauvelt told me about the SKYRIZI clinical trial. When I learned more about how SKYRIZI works, its safety considerations, and discussed it with Dr. Blauvelt as a treatment option that might be a good fit for me, I felt more hopeful than I had in years.”
At four months, and after two treatment doses of SKYRIZI in the clinical trial, Allen’s thick plaques were almost clear. Allen is not alone. In clinical trials, 3 out of 4 people achieved 90 percent clearer skin at four months after just two doses. Of those who achieved 90 percent clearer skin, nearly 9 out of 10 people sustained 90 percent clearer skin through one year. Maintenance treatment with SKYRIZI is four doses a year, after two starter doses. Each dose is two injections, and there are twelve weeks between doses.
SKYRIZI may cause serious side effects, including risk of infections. Before starting treatment, your doctor should check you for infections and tuberculosis. Tell your doctor right away if you have an infection or symptoms of one. Also, tell your doctor if you plan to or recently received a vaccine.
Allen’s journey with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis is like many others living with this chronic condition. In sharing his story, Allen hopes to encourage others to not delay having open and honest conversations with their dermatologist and to strive to reach their treatment goals.
“I don’t even think about having plaques on my skin anymore. SKYRIZI® (risankizumab-rzaa) has been an effective treatment for me,” said Allen. “Now, I focus on living without thinking about making sure my clothing hides my skin.” To learn more, visit SKYRIZI.com.