Is your psoriasis treatment working?

woman checking psoriasis spot in the mirror

Simple tips for tracking progress

When you start using your psoriasis treatment, it is normal to want it to work quickly. It can be frustrating if this doesn't happen and it might make you think your treatment isn’t working. However, you should be patient. It may take a few weeks or months before you start to see the effects of some psoriasis treatments.1,2 It is important to continue with your treatment as discussed with your doctor. Stopping your treatment can lead to a flare-up in your symptoms.3

Finding the right treatment can be hard. What works for other people may not work for you. Working with your doctor you should be able to find a treatment plan that works for you.4

Spot the difference

To help you judge whether your treatment is working, try to spot and record even the smallest changes in the way your skin looks and feels.

Rather than relying on sight alone, close your eyes and touch your psoriasis. It may be that you feel the difference in the thickness or roughness of your plaques.1,5

Keep a record

Writing a diary can help keep you on track with your treatment plan.6 Note down what your day was like, how you were feeling and also your diet and whether you had any flare-ups.6 This can help you identify triggers for your psoriasis and will help you notice small improvements you might otherwise have missed.

If you have many plaques, you might not notice gradual improvements in your skin. Including photos in your diary can be useful. Take a photo of your plaques before starting a new treatment and then again at regular intervals during the course of your treatment. This will create a visual record of your condition and may allow you and your doctor to see any benefits of your treatment more clearly.7

Regular reviews

If you have psoriasis you should seek regular review appointments with your healthcare professional - at least once a year.5 In these reviews you could show your doctor the record you have kept of your psoriasis. The record will help them determine if any changes should be made to your treatment plan.

Define your goals

Finally, it is worth thinking about what you want to get out of your treatment. Some people’s main goal is to eliminate any signs of their psoriasis that are visible to others. Other people may be more interested in reducing the physical discomfort of their psoriasis. It is important to talk to your healthcare professional about what matters to you most. This can help to find the right treatment for you.8

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

UK/IE MAT-26899 Date of prep: July 2019

  1. www.nhs.uk/conditions/psoriasis/treatment/ (accessed July 2019).
  2. www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments/systemics/soriatane/ (accessed July 2019).
  3. NICE guidance. Psoriasis assessment and management. 2012.
  4. www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments (accessed July 2019).
  5. SIGN. Treating psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. 2012.
  6. www.everydayhealth.com/psoriasis/treatment/tracking-psoriasis-symptoms (accessed July 2019).
  7. www.sharecare.com/health/psoriasis-skin/article/tracking-your-psoriasis-triggers (accessed July 2019).
  8. A Tuckman. Dermatol Ther 2017; 7(Suppl1): S53-7

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