As you celebrate Psoriasis Action Month this August, focus on understanding your condition and finding the treatments that work for you. Managing psoriasis is a lifelong journey that requires patience and perseverance, but the rewards of clear skin and improved quality of life make the effort worthwhile. Whether you’ve just received a diagnosis or have been living with psoriasis for years, take time this month to learn about the latest treatment options and set small goals to minimize your symptoms. Small changes can have a big impact. Celebrate the progress you’ve made and the progress still to come.
Living With Psoriasis: What to Expect
Living with psoriasis can be challenging, but knowing what to expect can help you better manage your condition.
When starting a new treatment, it’s normal to experience some irritation or side effects as your body adjusts. Topical creams may cause skin irritation before improving symptoms. Light therapy can lead to redness and sunburn-like reactions. Systemic medications often cause nausea, diarrhea, or fatigue.
Psoriasis flare-ups, also known as exacerbations or relapses, are episodes where symptoms worsen or reappear. Flare-ups are typically caused by triggers like stress, skin injuries, or certain medications. Learn your personal triggers and take steps to avoid them when possible. Have an action plan in place for when flare-ups occur to get your psoriasis back under control as quickly as possible.
Impact on Daily Life
Psoriasis can interfere with daily activities and your sense of well-being. Exercise, yoga or meditation are excellent ways to release stress and maintain flexibility. Connecting with others who share your condition can help combat feelings of isolation or depression. By understanding common experiences of those with psoriasis, you can empower yourself to better manage your own care and improve your quality of life. Be actively involved in your treatment plan, communicate openly with your prescribing physician and pharmacy team.
Tips for Minimizing Psoriasis Symptoms
To minimize psoriasis symptoms and flare-ups, here are some helpful tips:
Keeping your skin hydrated is key. Apply a fragrance-free moisturizer daily, especially after bathing while your skin is still damp. This helps lock in moisture and creates a protective barrier. Look for moisturizers containing hydrating ingredients like glycerin, lactic acid, urea, jojoba oil, and dimethicone.
Use lukewarm water
When bathing or showering, use lukewarm water instead of hot. Hot water can dry out and irritate your skin. Limit baths and showers to 5-10 minutes.
Certain factors can trigger or worsen psoriasis symptoms. These include stress, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and medications like lithium or beta blockers. Try relaxation techniques for stress, maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking, limit alcohol, and talk to your doctor about alternative medications if needed.
Gently exfoliate your skin to remove dead and flaky skin cells. Use a soft washcloth, scrub, chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid, or prescription topical retinoid. Be very gentle, especially on active flare-ups. Exfoliate 1-2 times a week or as directed.
Starting Treatment: What You Need to Know
When starting a new psoriasis treatment, there are several important things you need to know to set yourself up for success.
Follow Instructions Carefully
Pay close attention to how and when you are instructed to use treatment. Whether it’s a topical cream, light therapy, oral medication or biologic injection, proper use and dosage is key.
Be Patient with the Process
Psoriasis treatments can take weeks or months of regular use before you start to see significant improvements. Do not give up too quickly if you do not see immediate results. With patience and persistence, you can find relief. Communicating regularly with your pharmacy team can help you understand what to expect and if adjustments need to be made.
Watch for Potential Side Effects
While the benefits of psoriasis treatments often outweigh the risks, be aware of any potential side effects or reactions to monitor for. Common side effects may include skin irritation, nausea or fatigue. Communicate with your physician or pharmacy team right away if you experience any severe or persistent side effects. They may need to adjust or change your treatment plan.
Make Lifestyle Changes to Support Treatment
Simple lifestyle tweaks can help boost the effectiveness of your psoriasis treatment plan. Manage stress levels through relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation. Maintain a healthy weight. Limit alcohol consumption and avoid smoking. Use a humidifier to keep skin moisturized. All of these supportive self-care steps can help improve your symptoms in addition to medical intervention.
Starting a new psoriasis treatment plan can feel overwhelming, but with the right knowledge and expectations, you will feel empowered to actively participate in your journey toward relief from symptoms. Follow your doctor’s lead, give the process time, watch for side effects and make healthy lifestyle changes. With patience and persistence, you will find what works best to reduce your psoriasis symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Working with a Specialty Pharmacy
Psoriasis is a chronic condition that requires ongoing management and care. Learning to live with psoriasis means finding the right treatment plan, making lifestyle changes to minimize flare-ups, and gaining knowledge about the latest options available. Working with a specialty pharmacy like PFSP can help support your treatment journey from the very beginning. With additional pharmacy services like education, training, and regular health assessments, patients have greater medication adherence and better treatment outcomes.
Psoriasis Action Month is a chance for you to connect with others in the psoriasis community, become empowered in managing your condition, and raise awareness about this autoimmune disease. Though psoriasis is not curable, the future looks bright with new treatments on the horizon and a growing understanding of the underlying causes. You have the power to take control of your psoriasis and live life to the fullest.
PFSP Specialty Pharmacy provides patients and their physicians an exceptionally high standard of care with our growing team of specialized pharmacists and staff. Our dedicated team of pharmacists focus on improving adherence for patients and work to find an approach that works best for them. Bringing a fresh take on what a Specialty Pharmacy can and should be, we are committed to the care of our patients. We take pride in being an ethical resource within our community and strive each day to help our patients live enriching and full lives.