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The South West’s premier independent dermatology & skin clinic

A patient guide to Biologics for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes the rapid buildup of skin cells. This can lead to patches of thick, red, scaly skin called plaques. Psoriasis can affect any part of the body, but it is most common on the scalp, elbows, knees, and back.

There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are a number of treatments that can help to control the symptoms. There are many different treatments for psoriasis, including topical creams, light therapy, and oral medications. In some cases, biologics may be used to treat psoriasis. South West Dermatology can offer biological treatment for psoriasis with Dr. Anthony Downs having over 20 years experience in prescribing biologics for patients with moderate to severe psoriasis.

What are biologics?

Biologics are a type of medication that is made from living organisms. Biologics work by targeting specific proteins in the immune system that are involved in the development of psoriasis.

There are many different types of biologics available, and they work in different ways. Some biologics block the production of certain proteins that are involved in inflammation, while others target specific immune cells.

How do biologics work?

Biologics are made from living organisms, such as bacteria or immortal cell lines. They are designed to target specific proteins in the immune system that are involved in the development of psoriasis. By blocking these proteins, biologics can help to reduce inflammation and clear up the skin.

How are biologics used to treat psoriasis?

Biologics are usually given by injection or infusion. The frequency of injections or infusions will vary depending on the type of biologic that you are taking. They can be used alone or in combination with other treatments. Some people see a significant improvement in their psoriasis within a few weeks of starting treatment, while others may not see any improvement.

What are the benefits of biologics?

Biologics can be very effective in treating moderate to severe psoriasis and tend to have fewer side effects than other types of psoriasis treatments. The effectiveness of biologics varies from person to person. 

What are the side effects of biologics?

Biologics can be a very effective treatment for psoriasis, but they are not without risks. 

Biologics can increase the risk of certain infections, such as tuberculosis and pneumonia. They can also increase the risk of some types of cancer, such as lymphoma. 

Are biologics the right psoriasis treatment right for me?

Consultant Dermatologist Dr. Anthony Downs can help you decide if biologic therapy is right for you and look at your own risks and the potential benefits of biologics before starting any treatment. For patients outside the south west area Dr. Downs is able to offer remote video consultations.

What are the costs of biologics?

Biologics can be very expensive. The cost of biologics will vary depending on the type of biologic that you are taking and your insurance coverage you have.

Call Sarah today on 01392 350059 to book a psoriasis consultation with our Consultant Dermatologist Anthony Downs. For further information call us or use our online form.

The annual UK Dermatology course for Dermatologist Consultants has been running for over 20 years and is consistently popular.

The annual UK Dermatology course for Consultants November 2021 feature image

For the last two years this event has been hosted online, but this year saw the welcome return of the face-to-face meeting which Dr Anthony Downs, Consultant Dermatologist attended late November in London.

This meeting provides a resource to discuss recent therapeutic advances that impact current clinical Dermatology practice.

Topics this year included acne, leg ulcers, scars, lupus and JAK inhibitors.

Patients expect their doctors to be up-to-date, but this does not always mean recommending a treatment just because it is new. Gathering opinions from other expert colleagues in meetings such as these help our skin specialist decide what is reliable, effective, safe and appropriate for my patients.

These events offer important continuous professional development for our skin experts and help Consultant Dermatologist to stay on top of innovation, evolving technology and medical industry developments.

Dr Chris Bower, chair of Derma Exchange presenting at the Dermatology care meeting in Bristol

Dr. Anthony Downs & Dr. Christopher Bower recently attended a face to face national Dermatology meeting in Bristol. The DermaExchange event was sponsored by Almirall and chaired by Consultant Dermatologist Dr. Christopher Bower.

This event was the first time dermatologist and healthcare professionals have been able to meet as a professional body for almost two years.

The event included lectures on clinical updates and advances in dermatology care, alongside informative lectures and discussions on mental health and the well being of both the doctor and patient.

'How to work smarter and not harder', given the overwhelming demand for our services, was a talk that was particularly well received by the audience.

Both Dr. Anthony Downs & Dr. Christopher Bower came away with some useful tips that should help with some of our more challenging patients.

We do hope the pandemic will not cut these important industry meetings that are essential for clinical professional development.

Dr. Anthony Downs, Consultant Dermatologist delivered a very well attended virtual lecture on acne and acne scarring on Tuesday 27 July to GPs in the South West area.

NICE acne and acne scarring national guidelines were updated last month with additional attention and recommendations on the need to provide psychological support and acne scarring advice to patients with this medical disease.

South West Deramtology Actions of Anti-Acne Therapies - Dr Tont Downs Acne Presentaion to GPs

Acne can have serious and persistent mental effects that can remain for many years and well after the acne has abated naturally or with treatment. Very few patients have access to laser treatment in the UK to treat acne scarring regardless of this recommendation in the NICE guidelines.

This evening these issues were debated as well mapping out current best clinical practice and what new emerging treatments may be available on prescription.

On 6th May 2021, Dr. Anthony Downs, Consultant Dermatologist, provided an on-line (via Teams) national lecture on the use of lasers in dermatology and cosmetic practices.

This was a great opportunity for Dr. Downs to share his in-depth knowledge and experience looking at the growth in the usage of lasers and IPL for medical and cosmetic application. The attendees were dermatology colleagues throughout the UK looking to add to their continual professional development.

In the mid 1990’s cosmetic treatments were de-regulated. This led to a boom in the industry, but meant anyone could buy a laser and treat patients/clients without the need for any training or professional qualifications. Before that time only qualified doctors could see and treat patients.

Less skin laser treatments are now funded by the NHS as they are now deemed cosmetic, even though lasers have very good medical disease use and can improve disfigurements such as birth marks or scars. That also means less exposure to lasers and their applications for NHS consultant and trainee Dermatologists.

Dr. Downs is continues to look forward to passing on his knowledge and offering further useful advice and guidance for doctors at the next event.

On Thursday 4th March Dr. Anthony Downs, Consultant Dermatologist, provided a series of on-line medical educational interactive lectures via Zoom looking at how to diagnose and treat hair conditions for local GPs in Devon & Cornwall.

There are a number of important infections and inflammatory hair conditions that GPs need to be able to identify, either to treat or refer to a Dermatology specialist.

GPs may be the first point of call for their patients concerned about excess hair or hair loss. It is important to investigate those that may be caused by an underlying medical condition and to also refer those that are cosmetic to a Dermatology specialist where the patient wants advice and guidance about potential treatment options.

Dr. Downs is continues to look forward to passing on his knowledge and offering further useful advice and guidance for doctors at the next event.

In addition to seeing and treating patients, as the world adjust to the 'new normal' post COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Downs & Dr. Christoper Bower have been busy co-hosting and providing lectures online for:

British Association of Dermatologist - healthy skin for all logo cropped

British Association of Dermatologist 100th annual meeting

The British Association of Dermatologist 100th annual meeting was launched as a virtual conference on 1st September.

Dr. Anthony Downs & Dr. Christopher Bower both recorded lectures for this yearly meeting with online attendees both from the UK and worldwide.

The meetings enable dermatologist to share practical tips on managing patients and learn about break through treatments and research. The virtual platform lacked the human element that allows for challenge and debate, but it keeps the momentum of continuous professional development that is so important for all healthcare professional who work in the field of dermatology.

British Association of Dermatologist - healthy skin for all logo cropped

SCE: Dermatology Registrars' Meeting

Dr. Anthony Downs & Dr. Christopher Bower also co-hosted the SCE Dermatology Registrars Meeting as a live webinar conference in August. The event was sponsored by Jansen-Cilag and badged by the British Association of Dermatologists.

A lot of organisation and technical planning went into hosting this on-line webinar, driven by the current pandemic circumstance, but the meeting was well attended and went smoothly.

The meeting helps dermatology trainees pass their exam on the way to becoming dermatology consultants.

Dr. Downs & Dr. Bower have run this revision course for 10 years and it is extremely well regarded quality event and always over-subscribed.

Running these type of events, both on location and/or online, ensure our dermatologist keep up-to-date and one step ahead of the Royal College of Physicians who set the challenging and difficult exam each year.

From August 2020 Dr. Anthony Downs, Consultant Dermatologist, will be expanding his geographical availability by offering diagnosis and treatment for a full range of skin diseases and dermatological disorders at Duchy Hospital in Truro, Cornwall.

Dr. Anthony Downs will be taking over from Dr. Tom Lucke who has retired from private practice.

Dr. Downs will provide specialist opinion for patients with all types of skin disease. He has been a consultant dermatologist since 2000 and has held NHS consultant posts in Exeter & Taunton alongside his own private practices in Exeter, Torquay, Bristol and London.

Dr. Downs is able to offer:

  • Cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen freezing) for treatment of warts, skin tags and sun-spots
  • Skin surgery for removal of skin cancers, cysts and lipomas (fatty lumps)
  • Mohs micrographic surgery
  • Mole screening using dermoscopy
  • Treatment of scars with steroid injection
  • Treatment of nail diseases
  • Treatment of hair and scalp diseases
  • Botox injections for excess sweating of the armpits

He can also provide a range of cosmetic procedures including the removal of benign moles, skin tags, cysts and liver spots for cosmetic reasons.

Dr. Downs is recognised by all the major health insurers and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians; a member of the British Association of Dermatologists and British Society of Dermatological Surgeons; a member of the European Academy of DermatoVenereology and American Academy of Dermatology; a member of the British Medical Laser Association, International Dermoscopy Society and British Cosmetic Dermatology Group.

To arrange a consultation in Cornwall with Dr. Tony Downs please call Angela today on 07421 022801 or get in touch using the form below:

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    Dr Downs is available to see and treat severe and urgent cases at Exeter Medical during this challenging period of social distancing during the COVID-19 Pandemic.


    Patients with severe and distressful skin rashes or lumps or blemishes that might be serious skin cancers can still be seen and treated at Exeter Medical in a protected environment during the coronavirus pandemic.

    In the first instance please call Ros on 07838 293968 and she will discuss your available options in consultation with Dr Downs.

    If your condition is potentially serious then we will ask you to send photos via our online form and Dr Downs will assess these for further investigation.

    Dr Downs is then able to engage with the patient by video consultation, or in serious cases, arrange a face to face consultation following all current medical guidelines at our out-patient facility at Exeter Medical to begin urgent treatment of your dermatological skin condition.

    We are here to care for you during the social distancing because your health is important too.

    Coronavirus-19 busting remote dermatology consultations

    We are able to offer private phone/video consultation for most skin problems to avoid any unnecessary travel during the current Coronavirus epidemic.

    Our remote dermatology consultations are available using FaceTime Video or standard phone calls. Any necessary prescriptions can then be posted to you or to a pharmacy of your choice.

    Call Ros on 01392 350053 or get in touch online using the form below:

    • Please upload your picture as a jpg, png or pdf. Your image files should be no larger than 10mb.
      Drop files here or
      Accepted file types: jpg, gif, pdf, png, jpeg, , Max. file size: 20 MB.
      • Your photo upload allows us to triage potential patients at no charge. It is not a substitute to a face to face consultation with an experienced consultant Dermatologist. Emailed advice and guidance will only be given if it is felt to be medically appropriate or safe to do so.
      • Tick the box to agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

      Dr Anthony Downs Exeter Consultant Dermatologist & skin expert Devon

      Dr. Tony Downs, Consultant Dermatologist is once again passing on his wealth of knowledge and skills to GPs and the next generation of healthcare professionals.

      Dermoscopy is a great tool to help tell skin cancers from harmless lumps and bumps on the skin. By training local GPs, patients do not have to be referred on to the hospital to see a specialist - saving NHS time and money.

      Dr. Downs have been training GPs for over 20 yrs in the South West to get good at skin cancer recognition.

      Dr. Downs is holding a series of dermoscopy tutorials in Bristol over few months to help students develop their skills.


      Dermoscopy Tutorials at BUPA Bristol

      The events include a light buffet from 6:30pm followed by 1 hour tutorials from 7-8pm.

      Venue:

      Bristol BUPA Health Centre
      The Spectrum Building
      Bond Street
      BRISTOL
      BS 1 3LG


      Tuesday 18th June 2019 - Beginners Guide


      Tuesday 10th September 2019 - BCC & SSC


      Tuesday 12th November 2019 - MN


      Tuesday 4th February 2020 - Harmless lumps & bumps


      Tuesday 28th April 2020 - Hair & Nails


      Tuesday 9th June 2020 - Pink Lesions


      Please register your interest with Sarah Carter by emailing sarah.carter@dermal.co.uk

      These events are sponsored by DERMAL

      Dermoscopy Tutorials at BUPA Bristol sponsored by Dermal
      Dr Anthony Downs presentation at the 10th annual national dermatology registrar training course in Birmingham
      Dr. Downs presenting in Birmingham.

      For the last 8 yrs Dr. Anthony Downs & Dr. Chris Bower, Consultant Dermatologists have run an annual Dermatology Registrar Revision Course to help new medical students pass their "Exit" exam.

      Dr. Bower presenting in Birmingham.

      Dr. Tony Downs and Dr. Chris Bower organised and hosted their 10th annual national dermatology registrar training course in Birmingham on Sunday 9th June 2019.

      The course is registered with the British Association of Dermatologist and is classed as a course of excellence for attending students.

      We help the dermatology consultants of the future get through a key knowledge step in their training. Future UK dermatology consultants are required to pass a theory exam in dermatology during their specialist training in Dermatology.

      “We feel privileged to be able to pass on our expertise and experience to doctors that will be our consultant colleagues in the near future”

      Dr. Anthony Downs & Dr. Christopher Bower
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