August 8, 2017
Your independent community pharmacy can play an important role in helping patients with psoriasis manage their conditions and improve outcomes.
And now is the time to help.
August is Psoriasis Action Month, formerly known as Psoriasis Awareness Month. The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is encouraging people with psoriasis to take an active role in treating their disease.
Psoriasis is a chronic, immune mediated disease that often appears on the skin as raised, red, itchy patches. Living with the condition can be an everyday battle.
People may experience aches and pains, exhaustion, and even anxiety and depression due to the stigma associated with the visual disease.
Here’s how your pharmacy can help patients with psoriasis take action this month.
The first step in treating a patient with psoriasis is education. If patients don’t fully understand their condition and its severity, they may not properly adhere to treatment plans.
When filling prescriptions for patients with psoriasis, talk to them about the disease. Educate them on the medication their physician prescribed and discuss possible side effects.
Additionally, provide educational brochures and other materials to help patients navigate their diagnosis and understand what to expect.
Community pharmacists are in an ideal position to closely monitor patients with psoriasis and keep track of their progress.
Here are some ways you can help:
Pharmacists can also help identify patients who may have developed psoriatic arthritis (PsA), a type of inflammatory arthritis that causes joint pain and stiffness. PsA is common among people with psoriasis and early diagnosis is crucial.
Watch for signs of joint inflammation in patients with psoriasis. Inform patients about the dangers of undiagnosed PsA and encourage them to consult their physicians if symptoms arise to avoid severe joint damage.
Psoriasis can be difficult to live with. Patients need to understand the effect their condition may have on their quality of life.
Offer counseling for patients with psoriasis. Discuss how the condition can progress and the different treatment options available.
Counseling patients can also help you determine whether they’re suffering from anxiety or depression as a result of the disease, which may require additional treatment.
While most cases of psoriasis require prescription medications, some over-the-counter (OTC) products can help, especially in mild cases.
Do your research and talk to physicians about the best OTC remedies for patients with psoriasis.
Products may include:
Before making a recommendation, consult with patients about their current medication regimen and skin condition to determine which products will be the safest and most effective.
Your independent community pharmacy can help patients manage their psoriasis and improve their quality of life.
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