Being on the bike, open road ahead of him, is one of the only things, Bob says, that makes him feel free.
His plaque psoriasis, on the other hand, makes him feel the opposite. He’s had it for years, and as much as he wishes it wasn’t, psoriasis is a big part of Bob’s life. His symptoms first started in his mid 30s, following his divorce. As a single dad, he found himself taking his daughters to their social activities, including the local pool. At first, he thought nothing of it.
Then one day, one of the girls said, “What is that on your back?” Sure enough, Bob had red, scaly patches on both his back and his arms.
“I started to wear a t-shirt to cover up whenever I went to the pool.”
By the time he was in his 40s, Bob noticed the patches were getting larger, and were also appearing on his elbows and knees. At first, he thought it was just irritation, and for the most part, he ignored it—but he couldn’t ignore the reactions of those around him, especially children, who looked at him like he was a monster.
“Red and scaly skin could be intimidating to people, especially children.”
Bob’s father had lived with psoriasis for years, and as soon as he saw the patches on Bob’s skin, he told him what it was, and recommended he see a dermatologist. So Bob made an appointment, and got the diagnosis that confirmed his suspicions: he had plaque psoriasis.
“My initial reaction was, ‘Why is mine so much worse than my dad’s?’”
His dermatologist put him on topical creams and scheduled him for UV light therapy, which he tried for a little while. Then he tried other oral treatments, but had trouble finding one that worked for him. By the time he was 50, he felt like he’d tried it all—so his doctor recommended injections. Frustrated, Bob agreed to give them a try. While they worked for a little while, Bob wasn’t satisfied with the results.
“I wasn’t a big fan of either of those treatments.”
He started doing research online, determined to find a different treatment. That’s how he stumbled upon Otezla® (apremilast). He asked his dermatologist about Otezla, and she told him it wasn’t an injection or a biologic, but instead, a pill he’d take twice a day. Bob’s dermatologist mentioned that the Otezla Prescribing Information has no requirement for ongoing lab monitoring or initial lab testing, and discussed the risks and benefits of Otezla.
Bob and his dermatologist decided he should try it. After taking Otezla for 4 months, Bob noticed that his skin was looking clearer. Finally, he’d found a treatment that worked for him. Now, when he hops onto his bike, it’s not to escape his psoriasis. As he says, “I ride because I want to—and finding a treatment that worked for me was one of the things that got me to this point.”