When it comes to a long-lasting disease like psoriasis, your relationship with your doctor is important. However, during your consultations it can be difficult at times to discuss all you need to about your disease in the short time you have together.
In this website, you will find information to help you prepare for your next visit with your doctor. The information provided here can ensure that you can communicate everything that matters to you about your psoriasis in an effective manner, maximising the time you have with your doctor.
The PSORIASIS IMPACTS MATTER guide is a tool, available on this website, that provides you with a step-by-step guide on how to better communicate with your doctor during consultations—to help you both work toward managing your psoriasis and help you live your life as fully as possible.ABOUT PSORIASIS
Psoriasis is more than a disease of the skin, and symptoms can vary greatly from one person to another.1 Being aware of how your psoriasis affects you is the first step to managing your condition well.
Your immune system becomes more active than normal, causing inflammation which shows itself as psoriasis.
Because psoriasis is long-lasting, it requires continuous management. Symptoms may disappear for a while, but they are likely to reappear if not managed properly.1,2
When you have psoriasis, you may be at a higher risk of developing other long-lasting conditions. Tell your doctor if you suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, or joint pain, as they might be related to your psoriasis. Your doctor will check your health regularly and will adjust your treatment plan to meet your needs.1,3
When you speak with your doctor, or any member of your healthcare team, feel free to discuss anything going on in your day-to-day life that you think may be impacted by your psoriasis. There are many effects of psoriasis that cannot be seen, but can affect how your doctor decides on your treatment. Talk to your doctor about all the ways that psoriasis impacts your life.
As a person living with the chronic condition that is psoriasis, you know your body better than anyone else.
It is important to be aware of all the aspects of psoriasis. Start by answering the 3 questions below:
How does psoriasis feel?
Jot down how you would describe your condition: painful, embarrassing, stressful, draining, limiting, stops me from pursuing activities that I enjoy, stops me from dating or having intimate relationships, etc.
Where is your psoriasis located?
Sometimes it’s difficult for your doctor to see all the affected areas on your body, so be sure to be explicit about where plaques have occurred. Use the diagram in PSORIASIS IMPACTS MATTER to label the affected areas of your body and bring it to your next visit.
What aspects of psoriasis bother you the most?
Is it physical symptoms, like itch or difficulty sleeping? Are you unable to pursue activities you enjoy, like swimming or going to the beach? Is dating or intimacy particularly challenging? Are the emotional effects most challenging, like feeling alone or helpless?
It’s important to let your dermatologist know all the ways in which psoriasis is impacting you.
The most common form of psoriasis, skin plaques are a buildup of cells on the surface of your skin that can appear as red, raised patches with a silvery white layer on top.4 They can be painful and/or itchy and can have a significant impact on life from a mental, emotional and social perspective.4,5
Being very common in psoriasis, the itching feeling has been described as a burning sensation or being bitten by insects. Itch is typically triggered by stress and has been shown to have a significant impact on sleep and quality of life.6
Can range from mild (fine scaling) on portions of your scalp to severe (thick, crusted plaques) that cover most of it. It can occur beyond your hairline to your forehead, the back of your neck or behind your ears. Though it covers a small part of your body, it can have a big impact on your overall well-being.7
Many patients with psoriasis develop nail psoriasis, which can appear as tiny dents in your nails known as nail pits, discoloration (yellow or brown), nails separating from your skin, buildup or blood under your nail, and/or crumbling nails. It can affect tasks that you do with your hands and may be a sign of psoriatic arthritis, so it is important to tell your doctor if you begin to see any of the symptoms mentioned above.8,9
Affects many patients with psoriasis and can appear as plaque psoriasis (scaling, crusted plaques) or inverse psoriasis (red, smooth skin) on or above your genitals, upper thighs and creases near your buttocks and genitals. It can impact physical and/or sexual activity, personal relationships and emotional well-being, so it is important that you discuss it with your doctor.10
Occurring on parts of your body that are used frequently, psoriasis on your hands and/or feet can be very painful and have a significant impact on daily life, even compared with patients who have more severe symptoms. It may also be referred to as palmoplantar psoriasis by your doctor, and typical symptoms include scaling, redness, itch and pain.9
References: 1. National Psoriasis Foundation. Patient navigation center: plaque psoriasis. October 2017. https://www.psoriasis.org/sites/default/files/
plaque_fact_sheet.pdf Accessed April 23, 2020. 2. National Psoriasis Foundation. Patient navigation center: psoriasis. October 2017. https://www.psoriasis.org/sites/default/files/
psoriasis_fact_sheet_0.pdf Accessed April 23, 2020. 3. National Psoriasis Foundation. T2T Infographic. https://www.psoriasis.org/sites/default/files/
t2t_infographic.pdf Accessed April 23, 2020. 4. National Psoriasis Foundation. About Psoriasis. https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis Accessed April 23, 2020. 5. National Psoriasis Foundation. Life with Psoriasis. https://www.psoriasis.org/life-with-psoriasis Accessed April 23, 2020. 6. National Psoriasis Foundation. Understanding the Itch. https://www.psoriasis.org/life-with-psoriasis/understanding-the-itch Accessed April 23, 2020. 7. National Psoriasis Foundation. Scalp Psoriasis Quick Guide. https://www.psoriasis.org/sites/default/files/scalp_psoriasis_quick_guide.pdf Accessed April 23, 2020. 8. National Psoriasis Foundation. Managing Nail Psoriasis. https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/specific-locations/hands-feet-nails/managing-nail-psoriasis Accessed April 23, 2020. 9. National Psoriasis Foundation. When psoriatic disease strikes the hands and feet. https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/when-psoriatic-disease-strikes-the-hands-and-feet Accessed April 23, 2020. 10. National Psoriasis Foundation. Genital Psoriasis Guide. https://www.psoriasis.org/sites/default/files/
genital_psoriasis_guide.pdf Accessed April 23, 2020.