Sometimes treating psoriasis can be just as frustrating as living with it, especially in the beginning.
First, there’s getting to understand and accept your diagnosis, which typically comes with at least one doctor’s appointment. Then there’s understanding and selecting the treatment options available, navigating costs and insurance coverage, and finally, starting your treatment.
Even after all of that, sometimes treatment doesn’t work and you find yourself back at square one.
There are so many treatment options available, and it’s important to work with your doctor to find the right fit. There are a lot of things to consider when deciding on the right treatment — but ultimately you should be the one making the final decision.
No matter where you are in your psoriasis treatment journey, it’s likely there will be times when you start to wonder if changes need to be made to your treatment or healthcare team. Below are five tips for recognizing when it’s time to make that change.
Psoriasis can be a bit unpredictable and can change with little to no warning. Lucky us!
This can result in your medication no longer working, despite no other lifestyle or medical changes. It’s possible for a treatment to stop working even if it’s been working for you for years.
A new flare is possibly an indication that your medication has stopped working. If your existing spots are getting redder, increasing in size, or are getting more uncomfortable and itchy, this may also be a sign that your medication is not working as well as it once was.
If you’re noticing these changes, consider making an appointment to discuss alternative options with your doctor.
Unfortunately, the cost of medication can change while you’re using it, which can cause insurance to stop coverage. If you are paying for the medication out of pocket, the rising costs may be out of your range.
When discussing treatment options with your healthcare professional, come prepared with a budget range so you can work together to create a plan that fits your life.
Many pharmaceutical companies also offer financial assistance programs. If paying for your medication is an issue, be sure to do some research about the requirements and ask your doctor if this is an option for you.
Some psoriasis medications are taken every 8 weeks, while others are taken twice a day. Some can be taken at home and others require a trip to the doctor’s office a few times each week.
Find yourself dreading that greasy topical cream, or hesitant to give yourself a shot at home? It may be time to make a change.
Different treatments cater to different lifestyles. If your current plan isn’t meeting your needs, consider taking a different approach.
Making a change that suits your preferences will benefit compliance with your treatment, as well as your mental well-being. As long as your doctor gives you the go-ahead, there’s nothing wrong with switching things up.
Some side effects can make you feel worse than a psoriasis flare. If you’re experiencing any side effects from your psoriasis medication, talk with your doctor right away.
Have a conversation about the risks and side effects that you are comfortable living with, and make changes accordingly.
When you go to your appointments, do you find yourself having a two-way conversation that includes your wishes and concerns? If not, it may be time to consider a new doctor.
Because there are so many options for treatment, there are multiple personal factors that need to be taken into consideration when deciding which is best for you. It is essential that your care provider takes your opinion into heavy consideration.
Advocate for yourself — and if they don’t listen, it may be time to move on.
Making a change to your treatment can be scary, but ultimately it’s on you to listen to your body and find the right fit for your life.
Living with a chronic condition like psoriasis requires constant attention and willingness to adjust. If your treatment plan or doctor isn’t meeting your needs, it’s likely time to prioritize yourself and change things up.
Fact checked on March 28, 2022
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