Overcoming the hassle factor
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 biological) may be used for moderate to severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Different treatments may require different dosages. Topicals are usually 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.
Making time for your treatment
Getting the best results from your topical treatment depends on you using it exactly as your doctor prescribes. However, if you have a busy life, it can be easy to miss the occasional treatment.
Keep your medicine where you will see it every day so it acts as a reminder to apply your treatment. If using medication daily, make applying your treatment part of your daily routine by linking it to an established habit, such as brushing your teeth, or applying deodorant. You can then store the treatment in the same place as a visual reminder.
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.
Some treatments may take 30 minutes to be absorbed, so allow enough time before getting dressed, or arrange your daily routine so that you can apply the treatment just before going to bed.
Dealing with mess
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 good bedding so you can concentrate on getting a good night's sleep.
Distract yourself with something you enjoy
So you don't rush your treatment time, why not combine it with something you enjoy, such as listening to music or a podcast, watching TV or calling a friend on a hands-free phone?
Don't be afraid to ask for help
If you have plaques in hard-to-reach areas, ask someone to help you.
Daily topical therapies: a guide
There are a wide range of psoriasis treatments available and it may seem daunting to try and familiarise yourself with all the options and how they work. Still, getting to grips with the treatment options is important because, when used properly, they may help you to effectively manage your psoriasis, and your plaques may even clear up with the right treatment and care.
Topical treatments are applied directly to the skin – typically in the form of a cream, gel or ointment – and are applied where the psoriasis has flared up.
Topicals are considered to be a 'first line' treatment for people with mild and moderate psoriasis who do not have psoriatic arthritis. They will usually be recommended before other options are considered. There are a number of different types available – some you can buy without a prescription in a pharmacy but for others you will need a prescription from your doctor.
Whichever one you use, it is important that you follow the instructions from your doctor or pharmacist and accept that it may take several weeks for your condition to improve.
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. The MyPso QualityCare™ app can help you do this if you download it from Apple Appstore
or Google Play
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. Again, The MyPso QualityCare™ app can help.
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.
UK/IE 2013b/00073, Date of prep: April 2015