Complementary and alternative medicine usage in the era of biologics among Korean patients with psoriasis
Background: Patients with long-standing psoriasis who are not treated with conventional medicine seek complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The biological revolution in the field of psoriasis since the late 2000s has progressed, expecting clearance or almost clearance of the disease. The frequency and type of CAM usage may have changed after these advances. Object: To investigate the change in the use of CAM in Korean psoriasis patients before and after the prevalent use of biologics Methods: Patients with psoriasis, who visited Pusan National University Hospitals (Busan and Yangsan) between March 2020 and June 2022 were made to complete a face-to-face structured questionnaire. These results were compared with our previous study results conducted approximately 10 years ago. Results: In total, 207 patients were included. Compared with the previous results, the frequency of CAM use (67.63%) increased (p<0.0001). Oriental medicine (67.14%) has most commonly been used, followed by health supplements and bath therapy. The biggest reason for using CAM was “to try all the potential treatments.” Meanwhile, negative concerns about conventional medicine (13.52%) significantly decreased during the 10-year period (p<0.0001). Conclusion: Although treatment efficacy has increased with biologics development, CAM usage remains prevalent among Korean patients with psoriasis. Therefore, more efforts need to be made by dermatologists to improve patients’ understanding of conventional medicine, including biologics.