Doctor’s appointments may not always go as expected. It is important to use time wisely. Talk to your doctor about all the impacts that psoriasis has on you.
Sometimes, for various reasons, it can be difficult to open up and have this intimate conversation. Your doctor should be the best person to talk to about your psoriasis.
By using the following tips to make the most of your consultation, you can help make it a success and deepen your partnership with your doctor.
Be Open About Your Treatment Goals
Defining with your doctor your treatment goals at the beginning of your visit is an important step for both of you.
It may seem obvious to say that you want to have lesion-free skin, or that you are seeking relief from symptoms such as itching or flaking, but this information can help set the stage for your entire treatment journey.
Remember: you have the right to say what you want to achieve in your treatment.
Keep an up-to-date list of questions in an easily accessible place (on your phone, in your purse, in your wallet) to ensure that all the points you want to discuss are at hand.
If you’re not sure where to start or need any tips on making your list, check out our Doctor’s Guide to Discussion!
In addition to keeping an up-to-date list of questions, taking pictures of your skin can be helpful when discussing your questions later.
It’s important to be specific when updating your doctor about the condition of your psoriasis and changes since your last visit.
This includes details about your current and previous treatment; say what worked and what didn’t, and be honest about how you’ve been following your treatment plan.
Don’t assume that the doctor can read your body language or know how your symptoms and treatment affect you.
Clear communication is an important part of any relationship, including the relationship with the doctor!
Check Your Understanding About Psoriasis
If you were asked to explain what psoriasis is and how exactly it works, would you be able to? It’s okay if the answer is no.
While these basic questions may seem too simple for your doctor, it is important that you have a basic understanding of your disease.
Having an accurate understanding of how the disease works can help improve treatment techniques and outcomes.
Ask for Reliable Sources of Information
Ask your doctor for recommendations of interesting websites, brochures, or patient support groups.
These resources can provide you with more information and help you get in touch with other people in your community who have psoriasis.
Be Transparent About How You Feel
Psoriasis is much more than a dermatological disease. Yes, your treatment may be working and your skin, improving over time, but it is important that you tell your doctor how you are feeling and how psoriasis affects your daily life – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Take Along a Trusted Family Member or Friend
Whether you are overwhelmed by the amount of information you receive or feel more comfortable with someone else in the room, you can always ask a friend or family member to come with you to an important appointment.
Never underestimate the power of emotional support
Remember: Your Psoriasis Is Unique
While it is helpful to do your own research and have contact with other people who have psoriasis for advice, remember that because psoriasis is a complex disease, what works for other people may not work for you, and vice versa.
Don’t let something you read online or hear from a friend stop you from trying an option or discussing it with your doctor.
It is important to maintain close cooperation with your doctor to arrive at the right psoriasis treatment plan for you.
Keep Asking the Same Questions. Then Ask Them Again
Current research, disease management techniques, and available treatment options are constantly changing.
Don’t think you can’t ask something because you’ve already asked the same question at a previous appointment or to another doctor.
Don’t Get Complacent If a Question Goes Unanswered
Don’t feel afraid to say, “I don’t understand, can you explain a little more?” You have the right to demand the information you need to make sure you are getting the best possible care to feel confident with your skin.
These brief tips may seem simple, but they can help you make the most of your appointment with your dermatologist.