Is Aloe Vera Good For Psoriasis?
Talking to Your Doctor About Psoriasis
The more details you can give your doctor about your psoriasis and overall health, the better.
By Gina Roberts-Grey
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Worried you won't have enough time to talk to your doctor about your psoriasis at your next check-up? Or are you going to a new doctor for the first time? To maximize your time together, Marina Peredo, MD, a dermatologist in private practice in Long Island, New York, recommends being as descriptive as possible. "Expand on symptoms like 'itching' and 'red'," she suggests. Describe the severity of the itch (intense, lingering, widespread, etc.) or how red (fire engine, maraschino cherry, light pink) your skin is. Details like these can help your doctor better understand the severity of your psoriasis flares.
Dr. Peredo also suggests preparing a checklist beforehand and bringing it with you to your appointment. This will help you make sure you cover everything you want to know with your doctor. "Preparing for your visit ahead of time helps your doctor work up a treatment plan that's best suited for you," she says.
Thinking about the following topics before your appointment will help you and your doctor make the most of your limited time together:
- Your current health.No matter how many times you've seen a particular doctor, it's always a good idea to regularly update your health profile. "In addition to your psoriasis, talk about changes in your overall health and update your family medical history," Dr. Peredo advises.
- Your current or recent symptoms."Mention any changes — for the better or worse," says Dr. Peredo. Along with vivid descriptions, discuss the onset and timing of your symptoms. Taking some photographs of your lesions during different stages of a flare-up and bringing them along to show to your doctor can also be helpful.
- Your medications.Your doctor needs to know about all prescription and over-the-counter medicines you've taken to treat your psoriasis, and how successful they were. But don't limit your discussion to these two forms of treatment. "Patients are often hesitant to discuss self-care measures or alternative remedies they've tried," says Dr. Peredo, "But keeping these secret impedes landing on the best treatment for your psoriasis."
- Your lifestyle.Ask about treatment options that will help you manage your symptoms more effectively and also fit your lifestyle. According to Dr. Peredo, there are numerous ways to treat psoriasis, but not all are appropriate for every patient. "Let your doctor know if in-office injection appointments are hard to make, or if you have trouble remembering to take your oral medications," she recommends.
- Your life changes.Recent or potential life changes can trigger a flare-up, so be sure to clue your doctor in on the basics about changes in your job or personal life. "This may help stave off a potential flare-up," says Dr. Peredo.
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