Integrate your treatment plan into your lifestyle
Your treatment can come in different forms – be it a topical product, a pill or an injection. Each carries its own challenges. Topical therapies are the most frequently prescribed, while treatments in the form of pills or injections (systemic and biologic) are used for moderate to severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Different treatments may require different dosages. Topicals must usually be applied at least once a day, while other treatments may need to be taken less frequently.
The important thing is not to be daunted by the idea that you need to treat your psoriasis every day.
To get the best results from your treatment you need to use it exactly as your doctor prescribes. But when you’re juggling lots of different demands, it may be tempting to skip a treatment occasionally. Or you may just forget once in a while.
The important thing is not to be daunted by the idea that you need to treat your psoriasis every day. Make applying your treatment part of your daily routine – perhaps by linking it to an established habit, such as brushing your teeth. You can then store the treatment in the same place as a visual reminder. Keep your medicine where you will see it every day. This could be beside your bed, in the bathroom cabinet, or even next to the tea and coffee in the kitchen. Of course, make sure you store the medication out of reach of children and pets and in accordance with the storage instructions.
Making time for your treatment
If time is an issue, consider using a formulation that absorbs faster into the skin. You can also get up a few minutes earlier or go to bed a few minutes later. If you like to plan each day in detail, you may find it useful to schedule your treatment as a regular ‘appointment with yourself’.
Another option is to create additional free time by asking a friend or family member to take over one of your daily chores. After all, there probably isn’t much difference between the time it takes to do the washing up and the time it takes to apply your treatment.
You may feel more inclined to find time for your treatment if you combine it with something you enjoy. Listen to your favorite music, tune into your chosen radio station or catch up on your favorite TV show.
Taking charge of your treatment timetable
Some treatments with less frequent dosages – such as once a week – make it difficult to remember exactly when to take your medication. It may be a good idea to use a calendar, an electronic memory aid or a smartphone to keep track of these treatments and set an alarm or memory prompt.
Keeping track of results
To help you judge the benefits of your treatment it’s a good idea to keep track of your progress. Try to record any small changes in the way your skin looks and feels by keeping a diary of your symptoms, and perhaps taking photographs of your plaques at regular intervals.
This will help you see improvements you might otherwise miss; and such visible evidence of improvement can encourage you to stick with your treatment routine.
Coping with side effects
All treatments may have potential side effects. It is important to talk to your doctor about these possibilities so that you know what to expect and when to react. You should always contact your doctor if you experience something unexpected when going through a therapy.