Because psoriasis is a lifelong condition, you need to have 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 and how severe it is. 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 psoriasis treatment options available to you! Learn more so you can have an informed discussion with your doctor about what's best for you. Remember that what works for one person won't necessarily work for another, 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 your other options. You may have to try several different treatments before finding the right one for you, but 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 to write down all the treatments that you are on, when you need to use them, how you are using them, how you are responding to treatment (e.g., improved appearance of skin), any symptoms you may have, any side effects you may be experiencing, and any other observations you may have. Psoriasis treatment works best when used properly, and it takes time and commitment to stick with a treatment.
- Communicate with your doctor. This Doctor Discussion Guide can help! Having a good relationship with your health care provider, whether it's your doctor or your dermatologist, is an important part of managing psoriasis. Keep the lines of honest communication open and don't hesitate to contact your doctor if you have any concerns about your treatment. Use the Treatment Check-Up Tool to find out if it's time to see your doctor about managing your psoriasis treatment. Don't settle until you find a satisfactory treatment that meets your expectations.
Make an appointment and talk with your doctor if:
- you are not sure how much your psoriasis affects 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.
Take the next step…