Simple tips for tracking progress
When you start using your psoriasis treatment, it's normal to want it to work immediately and it can be frustrating if this doesn't happen. For some people it may even take a few weeks before you start to see the effects of some psoriasis treatments. Unfortunately, this delay might make some people mistakenly believe that their treatment isn't working and so they stop using it.
Remember, too, that everyone is different and some people take longer to respond to treatments than others, and that any early changes may be too subtle for you to notice immediately.
Spot the differenceTo 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, closing your eyes and touching your psoriasis also helps; if you can feel a reduction in thickness and roughness you'll know your treatment is working.
To help you judge the benefits objectively, try to spot and record any small changes in the way your skin looks and feels.
Keep a recordWriting a diary can also keep you on track with your treatment plan. Note down what your day was like, how you were feeling and also your diet and whether you had any flare ups, as this can help you identify triggers for your psoriasis and will help you notice small improvements you might otherwise have missed.
Keeping a photographic diary can be even more useful. Take a photo of your lesions and 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 to see any benefits of your treatment more clearly.
Define your goalsFinally, it's worth thinking about how you personally measure the success of your treatment. Some people may believe a treatment can only be considered successful if it results in clear skin, while others may consider fewer or less scaly plaques to be a great success.
Either way, it's probably a good idea to discuss your expectations with your doctor to see whether they are realistic. Be sure to use your treatment exactly as they advise otherwise it may not be as effective as you hope. Chart your progress accurately so that, next time, you can compare your expectations with any actual improvements in your condition – and then have an informed conversation about the next steps with your doctor.
UK/IE 2013b/00073, Date of prep: April 2015