This simple injection can be done at home.
Most medications come in pill form, but biologic therapy for psoriasis is an exception. This new and effective treatment for moderate to severe psoriasis is an injection—and that may not be as intimidating as it sounds.
To use a biologic, you inject yourself in the thigh once or twice a month. If you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself, you can go into the doctor’s office and have them do it for you.
“Giving biologics to yourself is really easy, and no, you won’t screw it up,” says Bobby Buka, MD, dermatologist and section chief at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “Even my youngest patients can do it.”
The reason it’s almost possible to flub your biologics injection is because it’s a self-injecting pen (similar to an epipen for allergic reactions). “You put the stopper against your skin, press a button on top, [and] it automatically titrates how much to deliver into your body,” says Dr. Buka.
For some people, the hardest thing about using biologic injections might be getting used to the needle. “Needles hurt, and there’s no way around this needle. It’s a small needle, but still, if you poke yourself with it, you’ll feel a sharp pinch for a second or two,” says Dr. Buka.
Many people find relief from their severe psoriasis symptoms within a month of starting biologic therapy, and you may likely find that the momentary pinch of the needle is worth the months of improved symptoms.
Luckily, if you’re not a fan of needles, you may not need biologic injections very often. Some biologics may be needed as frequently as twice a week, or as infrequently as every three months, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Learn more about the timeline for biologics here.
Most, but not all, biologics come in injection form, but some are delivered intravenously. For these, you’ll need to go to the doctor to get the infusion. Talk to your doctor to learn if biologics are right for you—and if so, which biologic method to try.
Dr. Buka is a section chief at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Buka is also a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology and the Society for Pediatric Dermatology.
Moderate to severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis: biologic drugs. Portland, OR: National Psoriasis Foundation. (Accessed on May 17, 2019 at https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments/biologics.)
Psoriasis resource center. Schaumburg, IL: American Academy of Dermatology. (Accessed on May 17, 2019 at https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/scaly-skin/psoriasis.)Psoriasis treatment: biologics. Schaumburg, IL: American Academy of Dermatology. (Accessed on May 17, 2019 at https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/scaly-skin/psoriasis/diagnosis-and-treatment-of-psoriasis/biologics.)