The Perils of Inconsistent Psoriasis Treatment

by Alisha Bridges Patient Advocate

Have you ever had a moment where you just wanted to break free from the constraints of psoriasis?

I sometimes grow tired of the messy creams, doctor visits, insurance woes, treatment failures, and all the other annoyances that come along with having a chronic illness. In fact, at times I’ve become so frustrated that I basically quit. I stopped going to the doctor. I stopped treatment. In my mind, I had this absurd idea that maybe if I just ignored my disease it would somehow disappear from my life. But this illogical concept was hardly a harmless fantasy. Every time I put my condition on the back burner, I suffered.

In other instances, some treatments just required too much of my attention, and I failed to remain consistent.

By talking to others living with psoriasis I found that my inability to stick to a treatment plan is not at all unusual. Many living with psoriasis find it a challenge to remain faithful to a treatment plan, for a variety of reasons, which may include dissatisfaction with a particular treatment, inconvenience, cost, insurance issues, side effects, or simply forgetting to stay on top of the treatment itself.

Whatever the reason, not sticking to your psoriasis treatment can negatively impact your health or slow down your success rate. Here are four key disadvantages to not sticking to your psoriasis treatment.

Inconsistency Can Affect a Treatment's Likelihood of Success

Treatments like ointments require consistency and patience. Some topical treatments need to be applied several times a day for weeks or months at a time before you see any improvement. If you aren’t following a doctor's orders by using your treatment exactly as prescribed, you aren’t sticking to your psoriasis treatment, and your success rate will suffer.

Your Body Could Become Resistant to Treatment

The frequency of biologics use can vary widely, from once a week to a few times a year. Understanding how frequently you need to take your biologic is imperative to the effectiveness of your treatment. If you don’t receive your medicine on time, or skip dosages, your body could potentially build a resistance to the treatment. In other words: Inconsistencies of treatment with biologics can cause the treatment to stop working.

Symptoms Can Worsen

In some instances, if you stop your treatments abruptly without speaking to your doctor first, symptoms of your disease could progressively become worst. For example, you may be using a treatment that requires a doctor to help you taper off, rather than stop suddenly.

Symptoms May Become Harder to Treat

If you have psoriatic disease which includes arthritis, some of the medicines you receive may be preemptive measures to stop the joint pain before it starts. Some people will stop using prescribed medicine because they don’t currently feel any pain. But inflammations of the joints is harder to treat during a flare, so it’s easier for a doctor to prescribe medicine which prevents the pain from occurring. Remember: You may not be experiencing any symptoms now, but it’s important to remain on your treatment.

Alisha Bridges
Meet Our Writer
Alisha Bridges

Alisha Bridges has dealt with psoriasis since 7 years old after a bad case of chicken pox triggered her disease to spread on over 90% of her body. For years she hid in shame afraid of what people would think of such a visible disease. She has suffered from depression, anxiety, and panic attacks due to psoriasis. Years ago Alisha wrote a letter entitled “My Suicide Letter.” The letter was not about actually killing herself but killing parts of her like low self-esteem, fear, and shame so she could truly live to her fullest potential. This proclamation catapulted her into psoriasis and patient advocacy. Following this letter she created a blog entitled Being Me In My Own Skin where she gives intimate details of what it’s like to live with psoriasis. Alisha is a community ambassador for the National Psoriasis Foundation and has served her community in countless ways to help give a better understanding of what’s it’s like to live with psoriasis. Her life motto is the following: “My purpose is to change the hearts of people by creating empathy and compassion for those the least understood through transparency of self, patient advocacy, and dermatology.” Alisha is also a Social Ambassador for the HealthCentral Skin Health Facebook page.