WHAT IS PLAQUE PSORIASIS?

 

What Is Plaque Psoriasis?

It starts inside your body and it ends up as plaques outside.

Even as we learn more about plaque psoriasis—such as what it looks like, ways to treat it, and the fact that it’s a chronic disease that needs lifelong management—there are still questions about what causes it.

The microscopic world of our immune system may hold one answer. The immune system has countless cells and proteins that work together as one balanced system to keep our bodies healthy.

So you may wonder: what happens if the immune system becomes imbalanced? Because the immune system works throughout the body, a loss of balance means that psoriasis could show up anywhere on the skin.

Use the tool below to get a look at what happens.

Illustration of plaque psoriasis underneath the surface
 Illustration of normal skin underneath the surface

AAn imbalanced immune system involves excess proteins

CSkin cells multiply too rapidly

BExcess proteins lead to chronic inflammation

DExtra skin cells pile up to form plaques

Inside your body, your imbalanced immune system may create too many proteins. These proteins can lead to too much inflammation, which makes your body produce lots of skin cells—more than you need. Your body can’t get rid of these extra skin cells, so they start piling up on one another. This is what creates the plaques you see on your skin.

Remember: it may be easy to think of plaque psoriasis as a skin condition, but psoriasis actually starts inside the body. Beneath the surface, the immune system is one reason plaques form on the skin. That’s why plaque psoriasis is classified as an autoimmune disease.

 

What Do Skin Plaques Look Like?

Plaque psoriasis symptom: red skin plaques

Red

Plaque psoriasis symptom: raised skin plaques

Raised

Plaque psoriasis symptom: scaly skin plaques

Scaly

Skin plaques can show up differently from person to person, but plaque psoriasis symptoms tend to be the same: red, raised, and scaly skin patches.

 

How Is Plaque Psoriasis Diagnosed?

Plaque psoriasis is diagnosed as mild, moderate, or severe based on both the percentage of skin affected and the location and severity of the plaques.

While plaques usually show up on the hands, feet, elbows, knees, and back, they can also show up in the form of scalp psoriasis or genital psoriasis.

Mild plaque psoriasis: silhouette with grayed out area on right knee

Mild
Plaque Psoriasis*

Moderate plaque psoriasis: silhouette with grayed-out area on right knee and both elbows

Moderate
Plaque Psoriasis

Severe plaque psoriasis: silhouette with grayed-out area on both knees, abdomen, elbows, and neck

Severe
Plaque Psoriasis

One of the first things your dermatologist will want to know is what percentage of your body’s skin surface shows the redness, thickness, and scaling of plaque psoriasis. As a point of reference, your handprint is about the same size as 1% of your skin’s surface.

*A treatment like SKYRIZI is not meant to treat cases of mild psoriasis.

 

It’s important to speak with your doctor and receive an accurate diagnosis before beginning treatment.

 

Treatments for Psoriasis

There are a variety of plaque psoriasis treatments. Some people use over-the-counter products, while others get one or more treatments prescribed by a doctor or dermatologist. These include:

Psoriasis treatments: topicals
Topicals
Psoriasis treatments: phototherapy
PHOTOTHERAPY
Psoriasis treatments: oral medications
ORAL TREATMENTS
Psoriasis treatments: biologics
BIOLOGICS
Illustration of DNA

BIOLOGICS FOR PSORIASIS

If certain treatments—like topical options or phototherapy—were not enough, biologics may be an option for you.

Biologics work with—and within—your immune system. Since biologics work inside your body, they’re typically given by injection.

Once inside the body, biologics attach to certain proteins and help block their ability to contribute to the excess inflammation that causes skin cells to develop too fast. One of the proteins that may be responsible is called IL-23.

Illustration of SKYRIZI attaching to excess IL-23

SKYRIZI attaches to IL-23. This can help reduce the overproduction of IL-23 inside your body that leads to plaques on your skin. 

Looking for additional details on how SKYRIZI works?
Take a look at the science behind SKYRIZI.

You may also be interested in:

USE USE for SKYRIZI™ (risankizumab-rzaa)

SKYRIZI is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or treatment using ultraviolet or UV light (phototherapy).

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

What is the most important information I should know about SKYRIZI™ (risankizumab-rzaa)?

SKYRIZI may cause serious side effects, including infections. SKYRIZI is a prescription medicine that may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. Your healthcare provider should check you for infections and tuberculosis (TB) before starting treatment with SKYRIZI and may treat you for TB before you begin treatment with SKYRIZI if you have a history of TB or have active TB. Your healthcare provider should watch you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during and after treatment with SKYRIZI.

  • Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection, including:
    • fever, sweats, or chills
    • muscle aches
    • weight loss
    • cough
    • warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body different from your psoriasis
    • diarrhea or stomach pain
    • shortness of breath
    • blood in your mucus (phlegm)
    • burning when you urinate or urinating more often than normal

Before using SKYRIZI, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have any of the conditions or symptoms listed in the section “What is the most important information I should know about SKYRIZI?”
  • have an infection that does not go away or that keeps coming back.
  • have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB.
  • have recently received or are scheduled to receive an immunization (vaccine). You should avoid receiving live vaccines during treatment with SKYRIZI.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if SKYRIZI can harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if SKYRIZI passes into your breast milk.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

What are the possible side effects of SKYRIZI?

SKYRIZI may cause serious side effects. See “What is the most important information I should know about SKYRIZI?”

The most common side effects of SKYRIZI include upper respiratory infections, fungal skin infections, headache, feeling tired, and injection site reactions.

These are not all the possible side effects of SKYRIZI. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

Use SKYRIZI exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to use it.

US-RISN-180038

Please see the Full Prescribing Information, including the Medication Guide, for SKYRIZI.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit

or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you are having difficulty paying for your medicine, AbbVie may be able to help. Visit AbbVie.com/myAbbVieAssist to learn more.

Legal Notices/Privacy Policy. Copyright 2019, AbbVie Inc., North Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. If you have any questions about AbbVie’s SKYRIZI.com website that have not been answered, click here. This website and the information contained herein is intended for use by US residents only, is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace a discussion with a healthcare provider. All decisions regarding patient care must be made with a healthcare provider and consider the unique characteristics of each patient.

USE

SKYRIZI is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who may benefit from taking

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

SKYRIZI may cause serious side effects, including infections. SKYRIZI is a prescription medicine that may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. Your healthcare provider should check you for infections and tuberculosis (TB)

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

SKYRIZI may cause serious side effects, including infections. SKYRIZI is a prescription medicine that may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. Your healthcare provider should check you for infections and tuberculosis (TB) before starting treatment with

USE

SKYRIZI is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or treatment using ultraviolet or UV light (phototherapy).

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

SKYRIZI may cause serious side effects, including infections. SKYRIZI is a prescription medicine that may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. Your healthcare provider should check you for infections and tuberculosis (TB) before starting treatment with SKYRIZI and may treat you for TB before you begin treatment with SKYRIZI if you have a history of TB or have active TB. Your healthcare provider should watch you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during and after treatment with SKYRIZI. Tell

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

SKYRIZI may cause serious side effects, including infections. SKYRIZI is a prescription medicine that may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. Your healthcare provider should check you for infections and tuberculosis (TB) before starting treatment with

USE USE for SKYRIZI™ (risankizumab-rzaa)

SKYRIZI is a prescription medicine used to treat adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis who may benefit from taking injections or pills (systemic therapy) or treatment using ultraviolet or UV light (phototherapy).

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

What is the most important information I should know about SKYRIZI™ (risankizumab-rzaa)?

SKYRIZI may cause serious side effects, including infections. SKYRIZI is a prescription medicine that may lower the ability of your immune system to fight infections and may increase your risk of infections. Your healthcare provider should check you for infections and tuberculosis (TB) before starting treatment with SKYRIZI and may treat you for TB before you begin treatment with SKYRIZI if you have a history of TB or have active TB. Your healthcare provider should watch you closely for signs and symptoms of TB during and after treatment with SKYRIZI.

  • Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have an infection or have symptoms of an infection, including:
    • fever, sweats, or chills
    • muscle aches
    • weight loss
    • cough
    • warm, red, or painful skin or sores on your body different from your psoriasis
    • diarrhea or stomach pain
    • shortness of breath
    • blood in your mucus (phlegm)
    • burning when you urinate or urinating more often than normal

Before using SKYRIZI, tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have any of the conditions or symptoms listed in the section “What is the most important information I should know about SKYRIZI?”
  • have an infection that does not go away or that keeps coming back.
  • have TB or have been in close contact with someone with TB.
  • have recently received or are scheduled to receive an immunization (vaccine). You should avoid receiving live vaccines during treatment with SKYRIZI.
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if SKYRIZI can harm your unborn baby.
  • are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if SKYRIZI passes into your breast milk.

Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

What are the possible side effects of SKYRIZI?

SKYRIZI may cause serious side effects. See “What is the most important information I should know about SKYRIZI?”

The most common side effects of SKYRIZI include upper respiratory infections, fungal skin infections, headache, feeling tired, and injection site reactions.

These are not all the possible side effects of SKYRIZI. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

Use SKYRIZI exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to use it.

US-RISN-180038

Please see the Full Prescribing Information, including the Medication Guide, for SKYRIZI.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit

or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

If you are having difficulty paying for your medicine, AbbVie may be able to help. Visit AbbVie.com/myAbbVieAssist to learn more.

Legal Notices/Privacy Policy. Copyright 2019, AbbVie Inc., North Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. If you have any questions about AbbVie’s SKYRIZI.com website that have not been answered, click here. This website and the information contained herein is intended for use by US residents only, is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace a discussion with a healthcare provider. All decisions regarding patient care must be made with a healthcare provider and consider the unique characteristics of each patient.

© 2019 AbbVie Inc.