Plaque Psoriasis Treatments: Enbrel, Remicade, and OTC Psoriasis Treatments

World Psoriasis Day 29 October 2024

Inspiring Hope and Empowering Individuals with Psoriasis

Mild to severe plaque psoriasis treatments are available either over-the-counter or as a prescription to treat all types of psoriasis. As researchers discover more insights into the pathology and genetics of psoriasis, the FDA (US) approves treatments that are more effective and longer lasting for use by psoriasis sufferers.


Throughout a psoriasis break out, TNF degrees significantly increase, creating the body system's immune feedback to incorrectly puzzle healthy and balanced cells with contaminated cells. Because of this, widespread swelling creates psoriasis plaques and also the stressful signs accompanying them.

Enbrel influences the immune system by neutralizing its impact on T-cell manufacturing due to the fact that psoriasis is the outcome of an over responsive immune system. Furthermore, Enbrel targets a chemical called growth death variable, or TNF, which the body immune system produces normally.

Plaque psoriasis treatments such as Enbrel inhibit TNF production by binding to TNF receptors and forcing the chemical out of the blood and joints. Eventually, the body metabolizes and eliminates the TNF, leading to the disappearance of psoriasis lesions and relief from symptoms.

Enbrel also treats other diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis since elevated levels of TNF and uncontrolled inflammation cause these medical conditions too. Enbrel is safe for use with children and a physician can administer it through injection or, patients can use autoinjectors for it at home.

Possible Side Effects of Using Enbrel

Enbrel may reduce immune system functioning and compromise its ability to repel viral or bacterial infections. A few rare cases have reported instances of cancers appearing in children and adolescents using Enbrel. Lymphoma is generally the type of cancer seen when this does occur. Individuals who have open sores, hepatitis B, heart disease, diabetes or tuberculosis need to inform their physician of these conditions prior to taking Enbrel.

You should report symptoms such as persistent bruising, fever, extreme paleness or bleeding immediately to the doctor prescribing Enbrel. The most common side effects of taking Enbrel include mainly injection site reactions, redness, pain, itching or swelling. Also, patients may temporarily experience headache and upper respiratory infections a few days following the injection.


Other plaque psoriasis treatments are strictly for patients suffering severe and disabling psoriasis. Remicade is one such medication that may help psoriasis sufferers experience improvement in as little as 14 days. It is also the only psoriasis medication available requiring only six injections each year, following an initial treatment of three starter doses. As a TNF inhibitor, Remicade may produce these side effects:

  • Susceptibility to serious infections, especially in senior citizens or those who already have a compromised immune system.
  • Similar to Enbrel, Remicade can also cause cancers in adolescents and children, such as hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma.
  • Individuals living in areas of the country where fungal infections such as coccidioidomycosis and histoplasmosis are prevalent need to remain vigilant when taking Remicade for signs they may be affected by these diseases
  • Other side effects of taking Remicade include fatigue, fever, coughing, flu-like symptoms and reduced appetite.

Some patients may experience a lupus-like constellation of symptoms. Chest pain or discomfort, breathing difficulties, cheek and arm rash and joint pain have been reported after receiving injections of Remicade.

Over-the-Counter Plaque Psoriasis Treatments

For psoriasis patients experiencing mild to moderate flare-ups, over the counter medications often provide enough relief from symptoms that prescription medication is not needed. Topical treatments such as tar-based ointments, cortisol creams, treatments containing salicylic acid and intense moisturizers can help those who suffer from psoriasis lesions covering less than 2 percent of the body.

Psoriasis sufferers searching for a more natural method of psoriasis relief have explored alternative plaque psoriasis treatments such as Ayurveda, an ancient treatment with roots in India and China and acupuncture.



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National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases