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Immune System or Over-sensitive Skin?
Ed: I wrote
last month to let you know about my Soriatane experience [Soriatane
Treatment a Bust]. Now I'm
halfway into my second month of Enbrel injections.
What a surprise! I'm
now about 90% cleared with no areas of redness left — only smooth if
still slightly discolored skin. I
wore shorts for the first time in 2 years and didn't get even one of
"those looks" from anyone. Put
me down as an Enbrel believer. Knock
on wood that things continue this way.
I had this same euphoric feeling after my first PUVA clearing.
have a thought for you.
I saw your
comment on wondering why Enbrel only works sometimes.
From a layman’s point of view, I see two ways that psoriasis can
happen. One is that an
overactive immune system attacks the skin (an organ).
The skin responds by reproducing when a certain threshold of this
attack is achieved. Suppressing
the immune system keeps the "attack" below the threshold.
other point of view what happens is the threshold switch that causes skin
reproduction in the skin organ somehow gets lowered or "broken."
Then no amount of immune system lowering will help.
In this case the only option left is to raise or fix the resistance
threshold of the skin. Have
you seen or heard anything on this thought?
all your help and comfort.
I wish you
Response: Good to learn you're
deriving some benefit from Enbrel. Your
two-sided coin theory about P / skin & immune system is interesting.
understand you correctly, you're suggesting that INSTEAD OF an over-active
immune system, some flakers may have an OVER-SENSITIVE skin response to a
normal immune system. The only
criticism of that notion I can think of is a statement I read saying that
an "abnormal amount of a certain kind of T-cell is detected in P
lesions." (Of course, I'm
paraphrasing. This research
derived from studies of cyclosporine unrelated to P.)
If the skin
was OVER REACTING to a normal immune cell presence, that flip side of your
theory would be supported. If,
on the other hand — and I don't know if this is true or not — there is
ALWAYS an exceptional amount of immune cells present in P lesions, your
flip side would not be supported.
theory sure would be useful in setting my mind at ease regarding my lack
of fortune with Enbrel. It
would be blessedly simple for me to conclude my skin was OVER REACTING to
a normal immune response, so Enbrel, which is a very selective immune cell
suppressing agent, really couldn't be expected to help me.
mystery resolves in favor of your theory, you can be sure I'll let you
know! Thanks again, -Ed