Asessment: Picking the Best Treatment for Psoriasis
20 years ago, there weren’t many treatment options for psoriasis aside from ointments, or the unconventional Chinese method of soaking with Garra Rufa fish which nibble away at dead skin. Now, there are a variety of options for psoriasis sufferers. These treatment options come with pros and cons that people should consider before committing to a specific drugs. Answer these questions to determine which option is best for you
1. The doctor tells you there is a treatment that may work for you, but it requires 2 hours a day 3 days out the week (This includes the time spent at the doctor appointment and transportation time). How likely would you be willing to try this treatment?
A. I will sacrifice the time because I want to find a treatment that works for me.
B. It depends on if I can move my schedule around.
C. No, I can’t sacrifice my schedule for 2 hours 3 days a week.
2. There is a medicine that requires use 3 times a day for 3 months before you begin any results, how likely are you to use it EXACTLY as the doctor prescribes?
A. I would persistently use it 3 times a day every day for 3 months or more.
B. I would use it as much as possible, but I can’t promise 3 times a day for 3 months straight.
C. I’m not persistent enough to use a treatment that requires this much attention.
3. How willing are you to give yourself an injection if required?
A. No, I hate needles and there is no way around it.
B. Maybe, I’m afraid of needles, but willing to do what it takes for clear skin.
C. Yes I would give myself a shot, I am not afraid of needles.
4. If your insurance rejected the ability for you to obtain a particular medicine that works well for you, how likely would you be to repeal their decision?
A. I would just take whatever my insurance covered without a fight.
B. I honestly don’t have the time to fight the insurance company and would speak with my doctor about available options.
C. I would do anything including writing letters and making phones calls, until I received the answer I desired.
5. If you had a high deductible for insurance or no coverage at all, are you willing to possibly sacrifice a large sum of your income for a treatment that has a high chance of being successful?
A. No, I need something less expensive.
B. Maybe, it depends on the treatment.
C. Yes, I would try my hardest to find the money for a treatment, even if it meant taking a second job.
6. Would you rather have a medicine that treats your symptoms or treats the cause of psoriasis?
A. Treats the symptoms.
B. Depends on the cost and time it takes to use the medicine.
C. Treats the cause
7. How willing are you to deal with medicines that come with serious side effects?
A. Not willing at all, give me the safest medicine with the least sacrifice.
B. Depends on how well the medicine has worked for others.
C. I’m willing because the quality of life is more important than the quantity.
How’d You Do?
Mostly A’s: Based on your answers, you are most suited to use treatments that include ointments, and topicals. While these treatments are safer than their counterparts, they can be a bit more time consuming. Topical treatments usually require application of treatment 3 times a day. In some cases it can also take longer to be effective, but proses the least risk when it comes to side effects compared to other treatments. Topicals are also easier to acquire and usually required for patients to use before they more on to more extensive treatment. Unfortunately this type of treatment only treats the symptoms.
Mostly B’s: You may be the type that’s willing to try almost any treatment as long as it’s affordable and easy to obtain. A lot of your choices may also depend on your insurance at the moment. You don’t have a lot of time to fight with the insurance company so you are only willing to try treatments which are available to you. Therefore, you are most likely to use treatments that have been around for a long time such as occlusion and phototherapy. Phototherapy can be expensive and effective, but usually requires a lot of time making visits to the doctor’s office. Although phototherapy comes with risk of skin cancer, its side effects aren’t as threatening as other forms of treatments. These are also drugs that only target the symptoms opposed to the components that cause psoriasis.
Mostly C’s: You don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to a treatment, possibly due to your business schedule, but you are willing to do what it takes to receive the BEST treatment. Biologics are probably your best options, although it requires to receive or give yourself a shot. You would prefer this treatment over methods that require a lot of persistence. You are a person on the go and you need something that works without a lot of hassle. Your goal is to treat your disease from the inside out, even if that means encountering more serious side effects. Although most biologics are more convenient, there are a few which require monthly lab work.
Alisha Bridges is a freelance health writer on the topics of sexual health, skin care, and psoriasis. She has lived and thrived with psoriasis for over two decades. Alisha is the creator of www.Beingmeinmyownskin.com, a site dedicated to sharing what it’s like to live with psoriasis. She is also a student at Georgia State University pursuing a career as a physician assistant with a concentration in dermatology. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @alishambridges.