Sustainable Clear Skin: Set Realistic Treatment Goals for Psoriasis Today
Are You Aware of Your Psoriasis?
Sometimes, life takes an unexpected turn. One day, you are doing okay. The next, you are down with a disease or a medical condition. You find an unusual patch on your skin — a weird skin rash on the hand which starts to itch. And when you have gotten the condition checked, the doctor tells you that you have psoriasis.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease you would not expect to be diagnosed with, but do not worry: this skin condition is not deadly or contagious. So, how do you deal with these red spots, scaly skin, and skin lesions?
Don’t Be Rash: Treatments, Targets, and Timing
You roll up your sleeves. You dive into research like a hawk, narasing down treatment alternatives, getting expert advice on skin lesions, and you get started on medication. How do you know what results to look for and how long to wait?
Here are a few realistic goals you should be seeing once you undergo any treatments for psoriasis1:
- Upon starting a new treatment, the treatment target is to get your psoriasis down to 1% body surface area (1% is equivalent to the surface area of one palm size) in three months;
- If you are unable to reach the treatment target of 1% body surface area in three months, you may choose to wait and observe for another three months if you have achieved an acceptable response. You have achieved an acceptable response if:
- you observed some improvement despite not reaching 1% body surface area goal
- you have achieved at least 75% improvement from the baseline;
- If no acceptable response is achieved after six months, it is best to discuss other treatment options with your dermatologist to reduce signs of scaly skin.
So, how do you know if you are doing alright with the current treatment? Check out the following:
- If the skin rash symptoms are down to 1% after three months: congratulations, this treatment works! Stay the course and continue monitoring the condition. Talk to your doctor every six months or as needed;
- If there is acceptable response after three months: chances are, the treatment is beginning to work on you, but it may need a little more time to fully kick in. Stay the course and track your progress for another three months. At the end of six months, talk to your dermatologist and adjust your treatment plan if needed.
- No response after at all after three months: this medication may not be right for you, so speak to your doctor about alternatives.
There is a tool that helps you evaluate your quality of life so you can have a meaningful conversation with your dermatologist. It’s called the Dermatology Life Quality Index, which requires you to answer a questionnaire with ten simple questions.
“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”
― Winston Churchill, Former British Prime Minister
Clear Skin Is Possible
Three months go by. The itching skin rash has subsided and red patches only cover 1% of your skin.
You disguise it easily under clothing. With no noticeable side effects, you fully concentrate on going out on dates, meeting colleagues for drinks, and travelling with your family. You schedule that appointment with your dermatologist and track your progress with a smile on your face. It doesn’t matter if psoriasis flared up for you at age 18 or 50. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve gone suffering with scaly skin pulled so tightly across your bones you thought it would break. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve tried treatments that worked for a period of time and then suddenly stopped working. Find what works for you and focus on your target. Find a new treatment, set realistic goals, and talk to your doctor; say goodbye to skin lesions and say hello to clear skin.
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Want to discuss other treatment options? Visit #Ask4Clear and find the best dermatologist near you today!
If you like this, see also: Biologic Treatment for Psoriasis: 4 Things You Need to Know