An Inside
Out Disease
A Patient’s Guide

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.

Why Starting (and Staying On) Treatment Matters

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

10 Signs It’s Time to Escalate Your Psoriasis Treatment

Are you experiencing frequent flares or lesions in new areas? Is your topical becoming bothersome or less effective? There are several signs that may indicate it's time to talk to your doctor about a change in your psoriasis treatment plan.Learn More

Psoriasis Patient Story:

Meet Vickie Wilkerson

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

Surprising Things Your Specialty Pharmacist Can Do for You

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:

  • Knowledgeable pharmacy staff available 24/7 who understand your specific disease and the medications that treat it
  • Personal support from a pharmacist you know and trust
  • Option to request regular phone calls to make sure you're successfully taking your medications and to see if you have any concerns
  • Dosing and administration counseling to help you feel comfortable knowing how to take your medication
  • Medication delivery that works for your schedule
  • Tips for remembering your medication, regardless of how often or how many different medications you take
  • Side effect counseling to help you find ways to make everyday life easier
  • Medication review to prevent potentially harmful interactions
  • Insurance assistance, including prior authorization coordination between your insurance company and your doctor, and alerting you if medication filling delays may occur
  • Financial assistance coordination to make your medication more affordable, when possible

    Learn More

How to Make Your Specialty Pharmacist a Partner in Your Care

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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“The medicine comes on time. They call you every month. They ask you how you're doing. Do you need any supplies? I went on a trip once, and they sent me a bag to put my medication in and told me how to keep it.

— Diane T, who lives with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis

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“Psoriasis: An Inside Out Disease" was made possible with support from Amgen.

CreakyJoints® is a digital community for millions of arthritis patients and caregivers worldwide who seek education, support, advocacy, and patient-centered research. We represent patients in English and Spanish through our popular social media channels, our websites, and the 50-State Network, which includes more than 1,600 trained volunteer patient, caregiver, and health care activists.

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