As a physician, I am often asked by patients if there is a cure for psoriasis. Sadly, the answer at this point in time is no. We do have effective treatments, but “cure” would mean that the patient would never have to think about psoriasis again. That’s not where we are yet, though researchers are doing everything they can to make it happen.
The question I’ve been thinking about lately: How long is too long for a patient to be on a treatment? This question is not as easy to answer as you might think. It seems like a simple question with a simple answer, but there are many factors to consider. Some of these include:
– How well does the treatment work? Is the patient cleared or close to clear? If there’s no improvement, then it’s time to stop using the treatment and move on to something else.
– What side effects has the patient experienced with the treatment? Are they tolerable or intolerable? Patients must weigh the risk of side effects against the chance of clearing or improving their psoriasis.
– How much does the treatment cost compared with other options? Is it covered by insurance or out-of-pocket? Some treatments can be quite expensive, limiting patients’ options
Most psoriasis sufferers have been on a few drug regimens before finding one that works for them. Some go back and forth between drugs, never feeling fully satisfied with what they are using. When the medications work, however, many patients find the relief well worth the effort it took to get there.
The road to psoriasis treatment can be long and winding, but it is not an impossible journey. As you are looking for answers, remember that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. While you may feel like giving up at times, keep in mind that there are other options out there and your doctor can help you find them.
Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about how long it is taking to find a treatment regimen that works for you. Do not give up until you have exhausted all avenues of care!
The treatment duration for psoriasis is normally 2-4 weeks, but the doctor may extend the treatment time if he or she thinks it’s necessary. If you have been experiencing positive results within the first few days of taking a certain medication, your doctor may give you a prescription to continue applying until your psoriasis disappears.
However, doctors usually avoid giving longer prescriptions to avoid drug resistance or addiction on the part of the patient. Also, if you don’t see any improvement in the symptoms even after using a topical medication for over 4 weeks, it means that it’s not working properly. In such cases, your doctor is likely to recommend a different drug.
The burden of chronic disease is a subject we don’t hear much about, but it’s an important one to understand for those of us who are either dealing with the demands of long-term psoriasis management or know someone else who is. The care and treatment of a chronic disease can be a real drain on time and energy, not just on your own life, but also on the lives of people you love.
The first thing to remember is that you are not alone. There are 31 million Americans living with psoriasis, and 1.8 million living with psoriatic arthritis, so if anyone in your family or among your close friends has psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, there’s a good chance that someone else does too. And for this reason alone, it’s likely that people in your life will better understand what you’re going through because they have had to go through it themselves.
If you have psoriasis and are looking for a treatment that is long-lasting, the term “biologic” may have caught your attention. Patients who have tried them often rave about how great they are, with many saying they’ve seen a dramatic difference in their skin. However, these drugs typically come with a high price tag and there has been much discussion over whether they are safe long-term.
Receiving long-term treatment can be very appealing to patients who had to endure years of ineffective treatments and the embarrassment of severe psoriasis symptoms. The thought of no longer having to apply ointments or creams to the skin every day or week sounds great, but it is important to understand that biologics have not been tested for long-term safety concerns.
Biologics were originally approved by the FDA based on a six-month trial showing how effective it was at clearing psoriasis plaques from people’s skin. How it affects other areas of the body after prolonged use is unknown, so doctors will typically want to use them only when other treatments fail or for patients who do not respond well to other medications.
I’m a single mother who has been struggling with a severe case of psoriasis for the past eight years. My life has literally been turned upside down, and I’m at my wits’ end trying to find a solution to this problem that is destroying my body from the inside out.
I was diagnosed with psoriasis at age 30 and put on topical steroid creams, which were not very effective. I was then put on ultraviolet light treatments for about six months, which helped clear up many of the patches that covered my scalp, back and legs. When summer arrived, however, the disease came back with a vengeance — even worse than before.
I saw dermatologists and rheumatologists, but no one seemed to know much about this disease other than that it ran in families. One doctor prescribed methotrexate (which is used to treat cancer), but after taking it for two months I developed liver problems and had to stop.
I then heard about an experimental drug called Enbrel that was being tested for psoriasis. It was supposed to work by suppressing the immune system so that your own body stops attacking itself, causing psoriatic lesions. But after taking it for three years, I finally became allergic to it and couldn’t
If you’re suffering from psoriasis, you know how difficult it can be to manage. Finding the right treatment can take time and even when you do, there’s no guarantee it will work for you.
You should know that there is no cure for psoriasis. It is a chronic condition, which means it lasts a long time or constantly recurs. So, if your skin is improving but still not clear, your doctor may keep you on the same drug (maintenance).
Some psoriasis treatments must be used often or continuously to keep psoriasis under control. If you stop using these drugs, your condition may get worse again. Other treatments are used only when a flare-up occurs and may not be needed on a regular basis.
Whenever you start using a new treatment, your doctor will want to see how well it works. Follow any instructions about how often to come back for checkups with your doctor while taking the drug. You should also report any side effects that occur to your doctor right away so they can be treated promptly.
Most people need several different types of treatment during their lifetime to control their symptoms and prevent flare-ups. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and nonprescription medications as well as dietary supplements and vitamins