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Starting Enbrel and Olux Foam at the Same Time
from Dierdre H.

Hi Ed, Just found your site a few days ago — great job!  Wanted to let you know that I, too, have just started Enbrel therapy for severe psoriasis and am just into my third week after a prolonged 6 week boxing match with my Insurance (got approval from Enbrel in no time, but was initially denied insurance coverage because I do not have PA, just psoriasis). 

I'm not keeping a journal, but have been noticing improvement:  localized clearing and overall flattening and lightening, and my arms are almost clear. 

Was also wondering about Olux Foam?  My derm gave it to me to use as a topical to help out with some outbreaks and I don't know if it's the Enbrel or the Olux alone, or a combo of the two — but I've really noticed a difference!

Might actually be able to wear shorts this summer!  -Dierdre H.


Ed’s Response:  I’m glad to hear some flakers who aren’t arthritic are getting coverage to take Enbrel.  So far, the number I’ve heard most frequently is “about 80%” of those on the drug who have both psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis experience clearing of the plaques.  Almost everyone who has written to me has reported improvement in their arthritis.  (That magical 80% again!  I really wish I knew what that means in these various contexts, but the more I learn about drugs and statistics, the less I know!)

Other FlakeHQ correspondents report quick positive response for the arthritis symptoms but less quick for plaque lesions.  Several — myself included — are in or beyond their second month on the injections with little or no improvement in the skin. 

And your combo therapy, Enbrel AND Olux Foam, makes your improvement as mysterious as it is welcome.  I’ve heard from many people who have had very good luck using Olux Foam on their skin lesions.  You may not know if it’s the Enbrel or the Olux Foam bringing about your improvement until you stop one — probably the Foam, first — and then even a rebound may be inconclusive (because it may BE JUST a rebound that time will overcome).  However, if the lesions come back after you stop using the foam and they STAY back, I would suspect the Olux Foam was doing your lesions more good than the Enbrel.  Frankly, I’m quite surprised your derm has prescribed both considering you do not have psoriatic arthritis.

But I, like you, am content to leave such questions in the rhetorical category so long as the regimen can be associated with improvement!  The most important thing is to enjoy the improvement.  Buy those shorts and intend to wear them!

Good luck and keep us informed.  -Ed

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