From the age of 6, Sarah struggled with her diagnosis of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that appears on the skin as red, itchy patches but starts inside the body.1 For years, she didn’t want to talk about her condition with anyone—she just wanted to hide. Sadly, her experience is shared by many. Over 8 million people in the United States live with psoriasis and about 80 percent of people living with psoriasis experience plaque psoriasis.1,2
Sarah joined the INSIDE LOOK campaign to share her journey and to get a psoriasis-friendly makeup tutorial from acclaimed makeup artist Allan Avendaño who also lives with plaque psoriasis. The campaign encourages people to go beyond the surface of plaque psoriasis and learn more about the importance of treating the condition from within. During their time together, Allan and Sarah had the opportunity to connect over their own experiences living with the condition.
Laying the Foundation
Allan began the tutorial by asking Sarah what look she wanted to go for, and she immediately exclaimed that she wanted a date-night ready look for a special night with her husband. Allan was excited to help bring this look to life for Sarah, and the two instantly hit it off after connecting over their shared struggles with plaque psoriasis.
“Meeting another person with psoriasis who is willing to speak openly about the disease and their personal experience with it was very emotional and enlightening,” said Sarah.
Allan started off by explaining that the first step to any look is laying the foundation, even when prepping the skin for makeup application. He gave Sarah great techniques for cleansing the skin and applying moisturizer.
After they laid the foundation for this psoriasis-friendly tutorial, it was time for Allan to help Sarah complete the look.
Highlighting Her Favorite Feature
True to Allan’s life philosophy, the final touches on Sarah’s makeover focused on highlighting her favorite features. For this step, Allan asked Sarah what she liked most about her face, and she lit up with a smile. Without missing a beat, she immediately noted her smile and lips are her favorite features.
With Allan’s guidance, Sarah carefully applied a bold, red lip—a tactic that can also help draw attention away from any active plaques. Sarah even learned a Hollywood trick for lip liner and lipstick, a tip she’s excited to continue using for future makeup looks.
Once her makeup was complete, it was time for Sarah’s final look reveal and for the two to go deeper about their experiences with plaque psoriasis.
The Importance of Getting an INSIDE LOOK
Following the finishing touches, Sarah and Allan were both ecstatic with how the look turned out. Beyond the tips and techniques he provided, Sarah and Allan talked a lot about accepting who they are and not hiding because of their condition. “We spoke about learning to embrace our inner selves and that the rest is just a reflection of that. It’s a mentality I’ll always carry with me,” said Sarah.
While it’s not always easy to open up and talk about your disease, for Sarah it gave her a sense of belonging and connection. “When you are diagnosed with plaque psoriasis, it's a very isolating feeling,” Sarah explained. “I really appreciated the opportunity to have an open conversation about our experiences and the similarities we shared in our journeys—how we both chose to turn our pain into something positive for others through our work.”
Sarah shared this advice for those living with plaque psoriasis: “Self-reflection can be difficult, but we all have parts of ourselves we wish we could change, and suffering in silence is never a good plan,” she said. “It's so important to speak with your doctor about your psoriasis. There is no blanket approach to clearer skin, the disease is as unique as we are. Take the time and invest in learning about what may work best for you.”
To learn more about the INSIDE LOOK campaign and watch the video of Allan and Sarah’s experiences living with plaque psoriasis, visit InsideLookPsO.com.
- About Psoriasis. Retrieved from https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/. Access Date: March 3, 2021.
- National Psoriasis Foundation. About Psoriasis. Retrieved from https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis. Access Date: September 22, 2020.
Otezla® (apremilast) U.S. IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- Otezla® (apremilast) is contraindicated in patients with a known hypersensitivity to apremilast or to any of the excipients in the formulation
Warnings and Precautions
- Diarrhea, Nausea, and Vomiting: Cases of severe diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting were associated with the use of Otezla. Most events occurred within the first few weeks of treatment. In some cases, patients were hospitalized. Patients 65 years of age or older and patients taking medications that can lead to volume depletion or hypotension may be at a higher risk of complications from severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. Monitor patients who are more susceptible to complications of diarrhea or vomiting; advise patients to contact their healthcare provider. Consider Otezla dose reduction or suspension if patients develop severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
- Depression: Carefully weigh the risks and benefits of treatment with Otezla for patients with a history of depression and/or suicidal thoughts/behavior, or in patients who develop such symptoms while on Otezla. Patients, caregivers, and families should be advised of the need to be alert for the emergence or worsening of depression, suicidal thoughts, or other mood changes, and they should contact their healthcare provider if such changes occur
- Psoriasis: Treatment with Otezla is associated with an increase in depression. During clinical trials, 1.3% (12/920) of patients reported depression compared to 0.4% (2/506) on placebo. Depression was reported as serious in 0.1% (1/1308) of patients exposed to Otezla, compared to none in placebo-treated patients (0/506). Suicidal behavior was observed in 0.1% (1/1308) of patients on Otezla, compared to 0.2% (1/506) on placebo. One patient treated with Otezla attempted suicide; one patient on placebo committed suicide
- Psoriatic Arthritis: Treatment with Otezla is associated with an increase in depression. During clinical trials, 1.0% (10/998) reported depression or depressed mood compared to 0.8% (4/495) treated with placebo. Suicidal ideation and behavior was observed in 0.2% (3/1441) of patients on Otezla, compared to none in placebo-treated patients. Depression was reported as serious in 0.2% (3/1441) of patients exposed to Otezla, compared to none in placebo-treated patients (0/495). Two patients who received placebo committed suicide compared to none on Otezla
- Behcet’s Disease: Treatment with Otezla is associated with an increase in depression. During the phase 3 clinical trial, 1% (1/104) reported depression or depressed mood compared to 1% (1/103) treated with placebo. No instances of suicidal ideation or behavior were reported in patients treated with Otezla or treated with placebo
- Weight Decrease: Monitor body weight regularly; evaluate unexplained or clinically significant weight loss, and consider discontinuation of Otezla
- Psoriasis: During clinical trials, body weight loss of 5-10% occurred in 12% (96/784) of patients treated with Otezla and in 5% (19/382) of patients treated with placebo. Body weight loss of ≥10% occurred in 2% (16/784) of patients treated with Otezla compared to 1% (3/382) of patients treated with placebo
- Psoriatic Arthritis: During clinical trials, body weight loss of 5-10% was reported in 10% (49/497) of patients taking Otezla and in 3.3% (16/495) of patients taking placebo
- Behçet’s Disease: During the phase 3 clinical trial, body weight loss of >5% was reported in 4.9% (5/103) of patients taking Otezla and in 3.9% (4/102) of patients taking placebo
- Drug Interactions: Apremilast exposure was decreased when Otezla was co-administered with rifampin, a strong CYP450 enzyme inducer; loss of Otezla efficacy may occur. Concomitant use of Otezla with CYP450 enzyme inducers (e.g., rifampin, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, phenytoin) is not recommended
- Psoriasis: Adverse reactions reported in ≥5% of patients were (Otezla%, placebo%): diarrhea (17, 6), nausea (17, 7), upper respiratory tract infection (9, 6), tension headache (8, 4), and headache (6, 4)
- Psoriatic Arthritis: Adverse reactions reported in at least 2% of patients taking Otezla, that occurred at a frequency at least 1% higher than that observed in patients taking placebo, for up to 16 weeks (after the initial 5-day titration), were (Otezla%, placebo%): diarrhea (7.7, 1.6); nausea (8.9, 3.1); headache (5.9, 2.2); upper respiratory tract infection (3.9, 1.8); vomiting (3.2, 0.4); nasopharyngitis (2.6, 1.6); upper abdominal pain (2.0, 0.2)
- Behçet’s Disease: Adverse reactions reported in at least ≥5% of patients taking Otezla, that occurred at a frequency at least 1% higher than that observed in patients taking placebo, for up to 12 weeks, were (Otezla%, placebo%): diarrhea (41.3, 20.4); nausea (19.2, 10.7); headache (14.4, 10.7); upper respiratory tract infection (11.5, 4.9); upper abdominal pain (8.7, 1.9); vomiting (8.7, 1.9); back pain (7.7, 5.8); viral upper respiratory tract infection (6.7, 4.9); arthralgia (5.8, 2.9)
Use in Specific Populations
- Pregnancy: Otezla has not been studied in pregnant women. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk of fetal loss. Consider pregnancy planning and prevention for females of reproductive potential. There is a pregnancy exposure registry that monitors pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to Otezla during pregnancy. Information about the registry can be obtained by calling 1-877-311-8972 or visiting https://mothertobaby.org/ongoing-study/otezla/
- Lactation: There are no data on the presence of apremilast or its metabolites in human milk, the effects of apremilast on the breastfed infant, or the effects of the drug on milk production. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for Otezla and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from Otezla or from the underlying maternal condition
- Renal Impairment: Otezla dosage should be reduced in patients with severe renal impairment (creatinine clearance less than 30 mL/min) for details, see Dosage and Administration, Section 2, in the Full Prescribing Information
Please click here for Otezla® Full Prescribing Information.