What are the treatment options for PRP?

There is no cure for PRP. Therefore, the goal of treatment is to relieve the symptoms.

According to the National Organization of Rare Diseases: “PRP tends to follow a natural waxing and waning course, with episodes in which there is periodic worsening (exacerbation) or cessation (remission) of symptoms.”  Source: https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/pityriasis-rubra-pilaris/

From the PRP perspective, there are two major objectives in the treatment of pityriasis rubra pilaris:

✽  relieving symptoms as they present
✽  achieving long-term remission, if possible

The mantra heard within the PRP community is simple but deafening: “What works for one doesn’t work for all.”


Oral retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A that slow the growth and shedding of skin cells.

✽  isotretinoin/Accutane®

Immunosuppressants to slow down the body’s immune system. Often used when oral retinoids are ineffective.

✽  methotrexate (oral and injection)
 cyclosporine (oral and injection)

Biologicals with generally fewer side effects, targeted to reduce inflammation. These are injectable or intravenous (IV) medications that affect the immune system.

✽  adalimumab/Humira®
✽  etanercept/Enbrel®
✽  ustekinumab/Stelara®
✽  secukinumab/Cosentyx®
✽  apremilast/Otezla®

Ultraviolet light therapy — especially for Juvenile Onset PRP

Additional therapies

✽  topical creams and ointments
✽  Traditional Chinese Medicine

No meds at all is an option taken by PRP patients concerned with the negative impact of side effects.


✽  Lab tests to monitor the effects of medications on the body and efficient management of drug side effects are important follow-up issues that will concern PRP patients and caregiver  who is under a doctor’s care.
✽  Access to treatment options varies based on age, geography and cost

See Chapter 3 — Treating PRP

SG 03.00.02

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