When you’re diagnosed with psoriasis — an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks healthy cells (skin cells) instead of targeting foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses — taking medication is usually a necessary first step. There are many kinds of medications used to manage psoriasis, and as you know, finding the right treatment takes a bit of trial and error to see which therapy you’ll respond to best.
If you reach a point when your dermatologist feels you need to escalate your treatment — progress from a topical cream to an oral medication or injectable/infused medication — you may also be working with a specialty pharmacist for the first time. This is because these drugs are complex specialty drugs that you can’t get from your typical neighborhood pharmacy. Between trying a new medication and working with a new type of pharmacy, it’s normal to feel confused, overwhelmed, and frustrated. But it’s never a good idea to stop treatment (or not refill that RX) without first talking to a member of your health care team.
The Global Healthy Living Foundation and CreakyJoints spoke with dedicated dermatologists, rheumatologists, primary care doctors, specialty pharmacists, and like-minded psoriasis warriors to help guide you during this crucial part of your treatment journey. We talk about why starting (and staying on) treatment matters for your physical, mental, emotional, and social health — and how to make your specialty pharmacists yet another reliable partner on your care team. Let’s work together so you have the support and guidance you need to manage your psoriasis from the inside out!
In addition to itchy, painful skin and comorbid diseases like psoriatic arthritis and metabolic syndrome, many people with psoriasis can also have psychiatric and emotional concerns, such as depression and anxiety, substance abuse, and self-harming behaviors brought on by the stigma associated with the disease. In fact, researchers refer to it as a “psychosocial skin disease” for the impact it can have on a person’s self-esteem. In this video, you’ll hear more about why psoriasis isn’t only skin-deep.
No one knows better than you that psoriasis goes well beyond your skin. Psoriasis is a systemic disease. This means it can affect your entire body, increasing your risk for seemingly unrelated diseases — heart disease and diabetes — as well as psoriatic arthritis, which causes inflammation of the joints and occasionally the spine. Stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and loneliness are also common in people with psoriasis. Learn More
“Yes, it’s a skin condition, but it also can be associated with arthritis of the small joints or lower back. And we know now that it can be associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease, elevated cholesterol, and even elevated blood sugars. Gone are the days when somebody comes in the office and we just kind of give them a cream and have them walk out the door when they have psoriasis.”
— Mona Gohara, MD, Associate Clinical Professor Dermatology at Yale School of Medicine
Psoriasis Patient Story:
When her treatment finally began working it was like “seeing the sunshine after a heavy rainstorm,” says Vickie. “It’s kind of hard to describe, but it’s just an over joyful feeling — like okay, I finally found something that’s going to work for me.”
Read Her Story
How quickly you reach your health goals can depend on how well your specialty pharmacy serves your needs and reacts to changes. This is why GHLF and CreakyJoints talked with several specialty pharmacists to provide you with resources, support, and answers to your questions.
When your medication gets more specialized, your care does too. Here are 10 ways that a full-service, specialty pharmacy can provide care for those living with psoriasis:
Your specialty pharmacist is much more than just a medication dispenser — they can be an accessible, qualified resource to help support you throughout your psoriasis treatment journey. Talking to your specialty pharmacist about a medication’s potential risks and benefits — and how those fit into your treatment goals and preferences — is part of what's referred to as “shared decision-making.”
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“Psoriasis: An Inside Out Disease" was made possible with support from Amgen.
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