How to manage your psoriasis treatment
Not all psoriasis is treated the same way. In fact, finding the right treatment could take some trial and error. Each person with psoriasis is unique, and the condition can present itself in so many different ways that it's important to find treatment that fits you and your needs.
It's also important to find a treatment that matches your level of psoriasis severity. If you have mild psoriasis, your doctor will likely suggest a topical treatment. For more severe forms of psoriasis, topical treatments alone may not be the best option and other treatments should be considered.
No matter what, it's important to remember that your ultimate goals for psoriasis treatment should be to clear your lesions and improve your quality of life.
Because psoriasis is a lifelong condition, you need to take an active role in your own health care and how you manage it. Here are some steps you can take so that you can effectively manage your psoriasis treatment:
- Learn about your psoriasis. Start by becoming an informed patient. Find out all you can about the type of psoriasis you have: read online articles about psoriasis. Discuss your questions with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Join support groups, which often provide psoriasis education, and talk to others who have psoriasis.
- Know your psoriasis treatment options. You have so many treatment options available to you! Learn more about them so that you can have an informed discussion with your doctor about what's best for you. Remember that what works for one person does not necessarily work for you, and it may take a few tries to get the right treatment routines down and see real improvements. If you have been using a treatment that has failed to give you the results you want, talk to your doctor about other possible options. Clearing psoriasis lesions is possible when you find the right treatment for you. So don't give up – work with your health care providers to find the best treatment for you.
- Keep track of your medications. Create a diary or logbook where you can keep track of your condition. You might take note of all the treatments that you are on, when you need to use them, how you use them, and any side effects you may experience. You could also jot down details about how you respond to treatment – such as if you notice that the appearance of your skin has improved. Psoriasis treatment works best when used properly, and it takes time and commitment to stick with a treatment.
- Communicate with your doctor. Having a good relationship with your doctor or dermatologist is an important part of managing your psoriasis. But it can be tricky to remember all of your questions and comments from appointment to appointment. This Doctor Discussion Guide can help you to keep the lines of communication open. Don't hesitate to contact your doctor if you have any concerns about your treatment. Don't settle until you find a satisfactory treatment that meets your expectations.
- Pay attention to your symptoms. Use the Treatment Check-Up Tool to find out if it's time to see your doctor about managing your psoriasis treatment.
Make an appointment and talk with your doctor if:
- Consult the DLQI (Dermatology Life Quality Index) to figure out how psoriasis has impacted your quality of life
- your symptoms aren't improving
- your treatment isn't going as well as you expected
- your psoriasis lesions aren't completely cleared
- your psoriasis affects your quality of life
- you experience side effects from your treatment
You can also ask your doctor if a referral to a dermatologist would be appropriate for you.