Biologics injection for eczema and psoriasis

What are biologics injections?

Biologics injections, also known as large-molecule drugs, are one of the newer treatment options in Singapore for dermatologic conditions. The increased hype of biologics is substantiated by various studies supporting its efficacy in the long run. Unlike other medications that are chemically synthesised, biologics injections are harvested from living cells in the lab, thus the name acquired. Biologics may be derived from humans, animals, and microorganisms through a complex process of biotechnology.

How do biologics injections work?

Biologics injection works to address the overproduction of specific protein cells known as cytokines. Biologics will target the specific makeup of the immune system that is causing said-inflammatory response (manifestation of eczema or psoriasis) and block its action. It is also a systematic medication which will travel throughout the whole body via the bloodstream.

biologics injections

Below are a list of biologics injections to treat eczema and psoriasis and the specific cytokines targeted:


ConditionDrug Target Mechanism 
Psoriasis Risankizumab (Skyrizi®) IL-23 blocker Attaches to and blocks IL23 proteins in the body, thus controlling inflammation. 

Secukinumb (Cosentxy®)

Ixekizumab (Taltz®)

IL-17 blocker Stops the overproduction of cytokine which causes inflammation.  
Ustekinumab (Stelara®)IL–12/23 blocker Controls the overactivation of cytokine which contributes to immune-mediated diseases. 
Eczema  (Atopic Dermatitis) Dupilumab (Dupixen®) IL-4 and IL-13 blockersLimits the overreaction of the immune system to reduce symptoms of eczema. 

Abrocitinib (Cibinqo®)

Upacitinib (Rinvoq®

Barocitinib (Olumiant®

Jak inhibitors Blocks the JAK proteins and disrupts one of the main pathways that lead to inflammation and itch in eczema 


Biologics are administered as oral tablets or injections. Depending on the type of medication, you can self-administer them or may be required to visit our clinic within a set time interval. The fundamental objective of biologics injections is to reduce immune response and inflammation. Ultimately, the outcome one can expect is reduced progression of your skin’s condition and improved quality of life.

Biologics injections

Benefits of biologics treatment

  • Established long-term safety 
  • Effective with prolonged use 
  • Lesser risk of negative impact on organs such as kidneys and liver
  • Requires fewer units of medicine compared to other types of medication 
  • Improves the physical appearance of skin 
  • Improves sleep quality 
  • Provides psychological relief from irritation 

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What conditions can biologics injections treat?

While our clinic specifically treats skin conditions. Biologics injections are used in different fields of medicine for various other conditions. 

Biologics are capable of treating: 

  • Mild to severe psoriasis 
  • Mild to severe atopic dermatitis/eczema
  • Psoriatic arthritis 
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa
  • Urticaria
  • Extensive Alopecia Areata 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
Dermatological conditions

What results can I expect from biologics injections?

Many patients are quick to be disheartened after biologics treatment as the results are not immediate. However, conditions will improve gradually, thus, patience and persistence are highly encouraged. Biologics have shown improvement in physical conditions among many patients. Additionally, psychological relief has also been observed as patients’ sleep quality and sexual function improve upon drug administration. Overall one can expect an improved quality of life and long-term efficacy when persistent with the treatment of biologics.

How many treatment sessions of biologics injections are needed?

Depending on your condition, severity and type of biologics used, frequency of treatment would vary. On average, if patients require injections, the frequency may vary between few weeks to few months. 

Reminders will be sent and our staff will contact you to ensure appointments are arranged. Additionally, if you have plans to move overseas, medical reports and referral letters will be provided accordingly to ensure your treatment is not impeded. 


How can I get a biologics injection prescription in Singapore?

Many patients are eager to try out biologics in the hopes of improving their dermatological condition. However, there are various prerequisites to fulfil before patients can start their biologics injection treatment. 

  1. Health condition: biologics cannot be prescribed to patients with poor health conditions. Whether it is a bacterial or viral infection ranging from a minor cough to high fever, you will be advised against starting biologics treatment. This is because biologics impact one’s overall immune system and will increase the rate of infection. 
  2. Pregnancy: biologics injections are not necessarily risky to pregnant women, however, their exact safety levels have yet to be determined. Therefore, if patients are pregnant or are planning for a pregnancy, it is highly unlikely that your dermatologist would prescribe biologics. 
  3. Vaccine screening: you will be required to update your vaccination or get new ones if you are found to be lacking certain antibodies. Blood tests will be conducted to check your available antibodies, particularly for tuberculosis (TB), and hepatitis B (Hep B) as certain biologics tend to reactivate infections. Additionally, one will not be able to get vaccines during biologics treatment as it will pose a significant threat to your health. 
  4. Ability to make lifestyle changes: biologics requires a regimented change to your lifestyle, both socially and financially. Whether it is the dedication to self-administer or the availability to visit your dermatologist, a certain level of commitment is expected from patients. If patients are found inept to commit, your dermatologist may not support biologics treatment administration. 
  5. Failed conservative measures: it is unlikely that biologics treatments are suggested as initial management for eczema or psoriasis. If newly diagnosed, your dermatologist will attempt other modes of treatment first. Depending on your condition, these may include:
    Topical creams such as corticosteroids, calcineurin inhibitors and moisturisers
    -- Oral medications such as anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and antihistamines.
    -- Wet-wrap therapy to increase the moisture of your skin. 
    -- Phototherapy– Ultraviolet (UV) light therapy. 
    -- Other systemic medications such as methotrexate and cyclosporine.
Eczema and psoriasis
What are the risks associated with biologics injections?

Like any other medication, biologics do come with potential risks and side effects. Though rare, these may include:

  • Reinfection of tuberculosis (TB) and Hepatitis B
  • Eye irritation or in more serious cases, vision changes
  • Injection site reaction or in serious cases hives indicating an allergic reaction 
  • Above average white blood cell count 
  • Lupus-like symptoms manifest as increased sensitivity to the sun and increased joint pains
  • Numbness and tingling throughout the body indicate an adverse reaction in the nervous system

Despite its rarity, one should be prepared to be proactive if adverse symptoms present themselves. Upon treating the symptoms of negative reaction, your dermatologist may attempt to administer a different type of biologics injection or completely discontinue the medication if you are deemed an unfit candidate.

Which biologics injection is suitable for my condition?
Your dermatologist will be able to gauge which biologics injections are suitable based on your age, medical history, and the deduction of the cause of your skin condition. You will need to visit your dermatologist for a consultation and conduct a blood test to determine which biologics injection would promise the best outcome.
Can biologics injections stop working?

After prolonged use, a very small percentage of patients find that their conditions return and that biologics injections are not as effective as they used to be. This could be due to development of antibodies against the biologic, hence rendering it ineffective. This is also known as biologic failure. Depending on the cause of failure, you will be advised to switch to another class of biologic or stop treatment.


What does a contact allergy look like?
Skin rashes, hives, itchiness, redness, burning, swelling, and tenderness could be symptoms of a contact allergy, especially after coming into contact with a particular substance.
How do you relieve contact allergies?
Applying anti-itch creams and taking anti-itch medications, cold compresses, cool baths, and avoiding the particular substance that causes the allergy can all provide relief for contact allergies.
How long does it take to treat contact allergies?
Upon avoiding the contact allergen, symptoms typically clear up in 2-4 weeks. However, it depends on the individual and treatment plan.
Are contact allergies contagious?
No, contact allergies are not contagious and will not spread to other people.



Dr Uma Alagappan is a MOH accredited consultant dermatologist in private with more than 15 years experience as a medical doctor. She sub-specialises in paediatric dermatology, women’s dermatology and general dermatology. Dr Uma’s interests include chronic eczema, food allergy and immunodermatology. She is also well versed with the use of lasers for treating paediatric and adult patients.
Dr Uma completed her dermatology training in Changi General Hospital and National Skin Centre in 2015. She joined KKH Dermatology Service to subspecialize in paediatric dermatology in 2017. She was awarded the Ministry of Health Manpower Development Plan Award in 2019 to pursue paediatric immunodermatology and allergo-dermatology in the renowned Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts, USA. Upon her return, she spearheaded a number of clinics at KKH including the food allergy eczema clinic for the paediatric eczema patients, immunodermatology clinics and the psychology eczema multi-disciplinary clinics.
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Tel: +65 9023 0905

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Fax: +65 6592 1411

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Fax: +65 6592 1411

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321 Joo Chiat Pl, #05-01A Parkway East Specialist Hospital, Singapore 427990

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Tel: +65 6320 0310

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290 Orchard Road 09-01/02 Paragon Medical Centre, Singapore 238859

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321 Joo Chiat Pl, #05-01A Parkway East Specialist Hospital, Singapore 427990 | Tel: +65 6517 9760
290 Orchard Road 09-01/02 Paragon Medical Centre, Singapore 238859 | Tel: +65 6320 0310


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