The Best New Apps for Psoriasis
Check your e-mail, scroll through Instagram, take a selfie, log your psoriasis symptoms … yup, you read that last one right! Thanks to an influx of new mHealth (“mobile health”) apps geared toward helping psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients, a little screen time may soon also become part of your treatment plan. And that’s really good news for the 125 million people worldwide with the chronic skin condition, since research in the journal BMC Dermatology showed that using an app can actually make a difference in things like medication adherence. And whether you’re looking for those medication reminders, a symptom tracker, or an online community—you guessed it!—there’s an app for that. Here are some of the best new downloads that will help turn your phone into a serious portable psoriasis slayer:
Designed by doctors to serve as an extension of your medical care, this monitoring app allows you to record the details of your flare-ups (duration, severity, etc.) via photo and notes and then creates reports to help identify the cycles you may be able to stop. From there, your doctor—provided he or she is an app user—can review the data, or one of the app’s “Psoriasis Navigator” specialists can help you interpret your data in between visits with your own team. Then it goes beyond, providing for anonymous social networking, medication tracking, and giving news and tips along the way. Released in 2018, it’s become a patient favorite, with a 4.4 rating on Google Play. Available in the Apple App and Google Play stores.
Kopa for Psoriasis
Brand new to the market in 2020 is Kopa for Psoriasis, which provides resources and a community for those living with the condition. The main goal is to connect patients with other people in the same boat. Each user can provide a bio telling a little about who they are to make it easier to connect with other patients, with whom you can swap advice, commiserate, and share wins. It just hit the apps stores in October, and with the Happify Health team of the popular Happify mental health platform behind it, it’s one to watch. Available in the Apple App and Google Play stores.
Imagine Skin Tracker
What makes this option stand out is that it tracks developments in any chronic skin condition in a visual way. How it works: once a week, you’re prompted to use your phone’s camera to upload pictures of several body parts (there are guides to help you capture the same area every time) and rate your discomfort on a scale of 1 to 10. Then over time, it shows how your symptoms have changed with sliding split-screen views of those photos, giving valuable feedback that could help your care team. Available in the Apple App and Google Play stores.
Flaym - Psoriasis Community
Think of this app as a kind of Facebook for psoriasis—it fills your screen with a newsfeed of posts from both the Flaym team and other users that you can then share or comment on. (And, of course, you can add posts of your own for people to interact with as well.) For those who like to stay incognito, you don’t have to make any direct connections to enjoy the platform, and you can even stay anonymous. But communication is encouraged—the goal of the developers is to help eliminate the isolation people with the chronic skin condition can often feel. Available in the Apple App and Google Play stores.
A study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine found that patients with psoriasis report clinically significant prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress. That means managing stress—which is known to trigger flare-ups by activating the body’s inflammatory response—may be extra important for psoriasis patients. And while it wasn’t specifically created for the psoriasis community, this new mood and habit-tracking app can help you do just that. The idea is that it keeps you accountable to the goals you choose (like get 8 hours of sleep or take your medication daily) while also recording your emotional state to help you understand the actions that have the most positive and negative effects. Since its launch earlier this year, it’s gotten major buzz and scored a 4.7 rating in the Apple store. Note: It’s free to download and use basic features with in-app purchase options to get you beyond the five habits allotted to start. Available in the Apple App store.
- Apps Can Increase Medication Adherence: BMC Dermatology. ( 2018). “Can an app supporting psoriasis patients improve adherence to topical treatment? A single-blind randomized controlled trial.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5804085/
- Psychological Effects of Psoriasis: Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine. (2015). “A cross-sectional study of prevalence and implications of depression and anxiety in psoriasis.” ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4676211/