Why Dermatologists Are So Excited for This New Psoriasis Drug
If you suffer from psoriasis — a skin condition that affects over 7.5 million people in the United States, according to the American Academy of Dermatology — you sure as well know that advances for treatment are huge. Living with active psoriasis is no easy feat. Yet, the good news is there are tons of buzz about new treatments that can help you manage your psoriasis symptoms, and Bryhali Lotion is the latest to get approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Bryhali Lotion 0.01% is a new topical treatment formulated with a “super-potent corticosteroid” to treat psoriasis plaques in adults. For the unfamiliar, psoriasis is a chronic condition in which your body “essentially gets angry at your skin, leading to red, scaly plaques that typically develop on the elbows, knees, and scalp,” explains Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
These plaques, which are caused by a combination of factors, including genetics and environmental stressors, can pop up anywhere. “When it occurs under the breasts or in the fold between the hip and groin or under the belly it is often red, raw, and shiny,” says Erum Ilyas, a dermatologist in Pennsylvania. “When it affects the nails, it can appear as little pits in the nails or oil spots.”
In general, anti-inflammatory medications are used to treat psoriasis. “In localized cases, we can use topical medications like topical cortisone creams,” says Zeichner. “They work by calming inflammation in the skin that cause the red patches.” However, you need to monitor frequency of use for these topical ointments. “We have to be careful, because extended use of topical cortisone creams can thin out the skin and cause pimples,” he warns. Yet, when used properly, these creams are very effective, albeit temporarily, he says.
“Bryhali Lotion uses a well-known active ingredient called halobetasol in a new proprietary lotion formulation to enhance both effectiveness and safety of the drug,” says Zeichner. “Unlike other topical cortisone creams, this super-potent version has been safe to use for up to eight weeks straight, [and] most others on the market should be used for only two weeks.”
The new FDA-regulated drug could help those with psoriasis manage symptoms longer and more effectively, while still being considered safe as a new psoriasis treatment. Bryhali Lotion’s studies (two multicenter, randomized, double-blind clinical trials) have shown no signs of thinning of the skin after eight weeks of use.
Plus, the formula seems legit. “It contains half the concentration of the active ingredient compared to the generic form, but because of the formula, has been shown to demonstrate equal effectiveness,” says Zeichner. “So it is just as effective, but a safer option for your skin.”
Another great benefit is that you can use it once daily. “This is a big deal. I have patients that tell me the amount of time they have to set aside morning and night to apply their topicals when they have extensive disease,” says Ilyas. “A once-daily topical will definitely make life a little easier.”
Side effects, including burning, stinging, itching, and dryness, may occur, so be sure to contact your dermatologist for more treatment information. Bryhali Lotion 0.01% is expected to be distributed to wholesale pharmaceutical distributors later this month.
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