PsoriasisNet Article
Clearer Skin by Summer Possible for Many with Psoriasis

If spending another summer hiding beneath long sleeves and pants seems unbearable, you may want to see a dermatologist this spring. By beginning treatment now, it is possible to see clearer skin this summer.

To see clearer skin by summer, dermatologists recommend:

  1. Make an appointment to see a dermatologist this spring, and let the person making the appointment know your goal ó to see clearer skin by summer. Treatment takes time to work. The purpose of this appointment should be to explore treatment options. The agreed upon treatment plan should be one that you feel comfortable following. If you do not feel comfortable using a medication or your schedule does not allow you to follow the plan, be sure the dermatologist knows.

  2. Maximize time with the doctor by being prepared. Bringing important information with you and learning a bit about treatment options will allow you and the doctor to spend more time discussing the treatment plan. Before your appointment:

    • Make a list of all past psoriasis treatments, the results, and any side effects you experienced.

    • Make a list of your current medications and therapies, including vitamins, herbal remedies, and supplements. Your dermatologist needs to know about all complementary or alternative therapies because some of these interact with conventional medication. This can affect the outcome of your psoriasis treatment.

    • Learn about available treatment options. You will find information on this site within Treatment.

  3. Use the medication. Following the prescribed treatment plan is essential. Medication cannot work when it is not used. Serious side effects can occur if some medications are abruptly stopped. For example, rapid withdrawal of systemic steroids can cause psoriasis to flare and even trigger another form of psoriasis to develop such as pustular or erythrodermic psoriasis.

The following tips may help you stick to the plan:

  • Build time into your schedule for treatment. You do not have to follow this plan forever, just a few months.

  • When thoughts of skipping a treatment pop into your head, think of the goal: To see clearer skin by summer.

  1. Donít overuse the medication. Enthusiasm about seeing clearer skin by summer can cause some people to overdo it. Applying more medication to your skin than directed or taking a medication more often than specified by your dermatologist can do more harm than good.

  2. If treatment does not work, tell your dermatologist. It takes time to see results. If several weeks pass without change or the psoriasis worsens, contact your dermatologist. The following shows approximately how long the different types of therapies take to work:

Pills, injections, infusions

2 to 3 months

Phototherapy

About 2 months

Medication applied to the skin

A few days to a few weeks

It is important to keep in mind that there is not a single treatment that works for everyone. What helps one person may not be effective for another. Finding therapy that is right for you can take time.

  1. If a particular lesion seems resistant to treatment and is one that you had hoped would clear, tell your dermatologist. Some lesions are more resistant to therapy than others. The dermatologist may be able to treat a stubborn lesion with a potent topical medication that requires covering it up for a few days, laser therapy, or an intralesional injection.

  2. Take time to relieve stress. Most people living with psoriasis find that stress can cause their psoriasis to flare. Some relieve stress through regular exercise, a support group, or daily meditation. Doing something that relieves your stress can increase the effectiveness of your treatment plan.

  3. Try to take good care of yourself. Psoriasis can take a toll on the skin and emotional well-being. This can lead to overeating, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and not exercising. Taking steps to care for your overall health usually improves response to treatment. Try to eat a balanced diet, drink enough water especially on those hot days, and limit alcohol consumption.

Following these guidelines should help you see clearer skin by summer. If not, be sure to talk with your dermatologist. Your doctor should listen to your concerns, empathize with you, and work with you to achieve your goal ó to see clearer skin this summer.

More Information
How to Make Psoriasis Control More Effective this Summer
Self-care tips that can help you see clearer skin during the summer

References:
1. Abramovits W, Perlmutter A, Gupta AK. Taclonex (calcipotriene 0.005% and betamethasone dipropionate 0.064%) ointment. Skinmed 2006; 5: 136-8.
2. Holsinger L. A battle with my skin. J Am Acad Dermatol 2004; 51: S41-2.
3. Lebwohl M. Innovations in the treatment of psoriasis. J Am Acad Dermatol 2004; 51: S40-1.
4. Trott J, Gerber W, Hammes S et al. The effectiveness of PUVA treatment in severe psoriasis is significantly increased by additional UV 308-nm excimer laser sessions. Eur J Dermatol 2008; 18: 55-60.

All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology


Newer Treatment Options

Topicals. Newer sprays and foams are easier to apply and absorb quickly, so they do not leave a greasy residue.

Phototherapy. Advances in phototherapy allow dermatologists to use lasers and non-laser light sources to treat the stubborn mild-to-moderate psoriasis plaque. This allows dermatologists to treat only the psoriasis and spares healthy skin. For people with more extensive psoriasis, a home phototherapy device can be a welcomed alternative.

Biologics. The new biologic medications may be an option for moderate or severe psoriasis.


 
 

 

 

 

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Page last updated 4/17/08

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