Psoriasis | Learn about the Basics
Psoriasis affects about 1-2 % of the population. I believe the volume of patients we see in practice is much higher than this. A diagnosis search for any given week shows that about 15% of our office visits are for psoriasis.
. The treatment of psoriasis is not necessarily different per se compared to other chronic skin conditions. In recent years psoriasis management has had so many new and highly effective therapeutic options relative to other skin conditions our approach may only vary in that we have more options to discuss.
The most important first step to approaching psoriasis is to understand that it is a chronic condition. There is no cure- our goal is effective management.
Treatment options range from topicals, phototherapy to systemic medications.
More research has indicated that healthier lifestyles and diets do seem to help several psoriatic patients manage their disease. This approach doesn’t work for everyone but it doesn’t hurt to try!
When you discuss your skin with your Dermatologist, quality of life matters! Be vocal about how psoriasis impacts your daily life. Some patients may feel embarrassed to discuss the realities of their day to day life with psoriasis. Some worry that they will be judged for discussing what they have considered a cosmetic condition. It’s not cosmetic!
Psoriasis is a medical condition that has so many effective management options it is important to review these with your dermatologist to decide which is best for you.
Also, be honest with your dermatologist about how your treatment plan impacts your daily life. I’ve had patients that have told me that they spend over 30 minutes twice daily on their topical routines. Can you imagine how much time they could free for other activities if they found a more efficient approach? Don’t always assume your joint pains are just a product of getting older. I can’t tell you how often it is that a patient finally decides to make the move to a systemic medication only to find out that their joints feel amazing afterwards. They underestimated how much of their joint pains were psoriatic and had an effective option to treat and prevent from worsening. I had a patient tell me once that their hands ‘deflated’ one week into therapy- they had no idea they were even swollen until the swelling went down.