Psoriasis treatments: Overcoming the hassle factor
Your psoriasis treatment can come in different forms.1,2 An important part of this is moisturising your skin every day.3 Your doctors may then prescribe other topical products, light therapy, a pill, injection or infusion.1,2 Each has a different effect.2 What works for someone else, may not work for you.1 Getting to grips with your personal treatment plan is important. Work with your doctor to find a treatment - or treatments - that aim to reduce or eliminate your symptoms.1
Making time for your daily topical treatments
Topical treatments are creams, gels and ointments4 applied directly to your skin.1,4 They are usually the first treatment your doctor will prescribe.4 Getting the best results depends on you using them exactly as prescribed.5
Topical treatments usually need to be applied at least once a day.4 So it is a good idea to try and make it part of your daily routine. You could try to do this by linking it to a habit such as brushing your teeth. Keep your medication where you will see it every day to help you remember to apply it.
Some treatments may take up to an hour to be applied and get absorbed.5 So allow enough time before getting dressed or arrange your daily routine so that you can apply just before going to bed.
Try not to be daunted by the idea that you need to treat your psoriasis every day. Instead, break it down and set yourself a daily goal of applying your treatment as discussed with you doctor.
Dealing with the mess
Some topical treatments can be messy. Some creams and ointments can be greasy and leave stains on your clothing.5 If you have lots of plaques to treat, put down an old towel or sheet to save on clean-up time afterwards. If you have scalp psoriasis and apply your treatment at bedtime, use an old pillow case to protect your bedding.
Distract yourself with something you enjoy
So you don't rush your treatment, you could try doing it at the same time as something you enjoy. Listen to music or a podcast, watch TV, or call a friend.
Don't be afraid to ask for help
If you have plaques in hard-to-reach areas, ask for help from a friend, loved one or you could book an appointment with a nurse for further help and guidance on how to apply your treatment.
Taking charge of your treatment timetable
Not all treatments for psoriasis are topical creams or ointments. Some systemic treatments can be a pill1 that you may only need to take once a week. This can be hard to remember. It may be a good idea to set a weekly alarm and use a calendar to help you keep track. Some treatments can be an injection or infusion.6 You or a family member may be able to administer an injection after training,6 but you will have to see a healthcare professional for an infusion.6 Remember to write these appointments in your calendar or diary to help you remember.
Keeping track of results
It is a good idea to ask your healthcare professional what to expect from your treatment. For example, when you should start to see changes, as well as keep a track of your progress. Try keeping a diary to record any changes in the way your skin looks and feels and how the changes you observe impact you. Take photographs of your plaques at regular intervals. Share the diary and photographs with your healthcare professional when you next see them - this will help you both see improvements. This could encourage you to stick with your treatment routine.
Coping with side effects
It is important to talk to your doctor about the possible side effects of your medications. This means you will know what to expect. You should always contact your doctor if you think you are experiencing a side effect.
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-26473 Date of prep: July 2019
- www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments (accessed July 2019).
- SIGN. Treating psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. 2012.
- www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments/topicals/over-the-counter (accessed July 2019).
- NICE guidance. Psoriasis assessment and management. 2012.
- www.psoriasis.org/advance/how-stick-your-treatment-plan (accessed July 2019).
- www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/treatments/biologics (accessed July 2019).