Ask your dermatologist about oral and
injectable treatment options FR

Harness the power of conversation

When it comes to psoriasis, your future starts with one simple question: what are my options? Talking to your dermatologist about available treatments is the only way to determine whether there is a better one out there for you.

Five questions to consider at your next appointment

  1. Can you tell me about available treatment options?
  2. Are any of these options more effective than what I’ve tried so far?
  3. What are the side effects of the options we’re considering?
  4. What’s the difference between treatments that are applied to the skin and those that are oral or injected?
  5. Are there any treatments that don’t require lab monitoring?

Common queries about psoriasis

Though psoriasis affects millions of people, both in Canada and across the globe, it’s somewhat of a misunderstood condition. Many don’t know, for example, where psoriasis starts, nor do they know that there are a variety of treatment options available to help. Read on for common queries about psoriasis, and the answers that accompany them.

  • All About Psoriasis |

    What is psoriasis?

    Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to send out faulty signals, which makes skin cells multiply faster than normal.

    In people with plaque psoriasis (the most common form of the disease), these cells build up and appear on the surface of the skin in the form of red, raised patches. When the cells die, they take on a silvery, scaly look associated with psoriasis.

    Where does psoriasis start?

    Though psoriasis patches appear on the skin, the disease actually starts inside the body. Learn more about where psoriasis starts

    How do I know if I have psoriasis?

    Your dermatologist is the only one who can diagnose you with psoriasis, but here are a few things to keep in mind. If you develop a rash that doesn’t go away with over-the-counter medication, you might want to consider talking to a dermatologist. He or she will look for the raised, red patches associated with psoriasis. These patches tend to have well-defined edges, and are most often found on the outside of knees and elbows, the scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of the feet.

    What does psoriasis look like/feel like?

    Psoriasis appears on the skin as raised, red patches with a scaly, silvery build up. These patches are often itchy and painful, and can crack and bleed.

    How many people in Canada have psoriasis?

    1 million people in Canada have psoriasis—along with 125 million people worldwide.

    Can psoriasis spread to other parts of my body? Where?

    Psoriasis can occur on any part of the body, but plaques are most often found on the outside of knees and elbows, the scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of the feet.

  • Treating Psoriasis |

    What kind of doctor should I see for my psoriasis?

    Many types of doctors treat psoriasis, including family doctors, dermatologists, and rheumatologists. That being said, dermatologists specialize in conditions like psoriasis, so they’re probably your best bet when it comes to treating it. Get a dermatologist’s perspective on treating psoriasis

    What kind of questions should I ask my doctor or dermatologist?

    You’re in luck! You’ll find 5 things to ask your dermatologist here.

    What are the different treatment options for psoriasis?

    Treatments for plaque psoriasis generally fall into two categories: treatments that are applied to the surface of the skin (such as topicals or light therapy) and treatments that work from the inside of the body (like oral and injectable, biologic medications).

    Not sure which treatment option is right for you? Find your treatment fit

    What’s the difference between treatments applied to the surface of the skin and treatments that work inside the body?

    Treatments for plaque psoriasis generally fall into two categories: treatments that are applied to the surface of the skin (such as topicals or light therapy) and treatments that work from the inside of the body (like oral and injectable, biologic medications).

    Topicals tend to be the first line of defense when it comes to treating psoriasis. Light therapy, which involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light under medical supervision, is also considered a topical treatment.

    Treatments that work inside the body are known as systemic medications. Systemics are divided into two categories: oral treatments, and injection/infusion treatments. They work from inside the body.

    Not sure which treatment option is right for you? Find your treatment fit

    Can psoriasis get worse over time if I don’t treat it?

    Psoriasis is a progressive disease, and it can occur on any part of the body. The patches associated with plaque psoriasis generally start off in small areas. Over time, as the disease progresses, separate patches may join together to form larger areas.

    That being said, while psoriasis is a chronic condition, the patches can come and go. For most people with psoriasis, the disease will “flare up” periodically, triggered by things like the weather, infection, or stress. Knowing your triggers, and keeping stress to a minimum, can help to keep psoriasis at bay.

    What should I do if my psoriasis isn’t improving?

    Psoriasis is a progressive disease, which means that it can get worse over time. What starts out as a few small patches can lead to larger, more frequent patches on other parts of the body. If you’re treating your psoriasis but feel it’s not getting any better (or that it’s getting worse), ask your dermatologist about treatment options.

    Not sure which treatment option is right for you? Find your treatment fit

  • Living with Psoriasis |

    Can stress make my psoriasis worse?

    While stress does not cause psoriasis, it can make the symptoms of psoriasis worse, or provoke a flare up. That’s why it’s important to try and minimize stress when you can—whether that’s taking time each day to consciously unwind, or making an effort to stay positive.

    What are the common triggers of psoriasis?

    Psoriasis triggers vary from person to person, but common ones include stress, weather, smoking, infection, and injuries to the skin (i.e. cuts, scratches, or sunburn). Some also feel that certain foods can trigger psoriasis, but this hasn’t been scientifically proven.

    Are there certain things I should avoid if I have psoriasis?

    Knowing your triggers is a great first step—but often, it’s impossible to avoid your triggers entirely. Practice moderation, or abstain completely where possible (for example, avoid smoking and drinking). Remember that triggers are different for everyone, and what works for one person might not work for you.

    How does the sun affect psoriasis?

    You may have noticed that your psoriasis patches tend to clear up a bit during the summer months. That’s because sunlight can be an effective treatment for psoriasis, thanks to UVB rays, which have been shown to suppress inflammation in the skin.

    If you’re living with psoriasis, it’s okay to get some natural sunlight—a few times a week, for no more than 10 minutes at a time—but you’ll want to avoid getting sunburned, as sunburn can make existing plaques worse, and cause new ones to appear.

    Do I still need to wear sunscreen if I have psoriasis?

    A very short answer: yes. While the sunlight can be an effective treatment for psoriasis, too much sun can make existing plaques worse, and cause new ones to appear. In addition, certain medications can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun—just another reason to lotion up before you head outside.

    Can a healthy diet help treat psoriasis?

    Psoriasis is associated with inflammation, and many people living with it benefit from following an anti-inflammatory diet. Keep in mind that the foods below are by no means a guarantee of symptom relief—but they have been shown to help reduce inflammation.

    Anti-inflammatory foods to incorporate into your diet:

    • Carrots
    • Squash and sweet potatoes
    • Spinach
    • Kale and broccoli
    • Blueberries
    • Mangoes
    • Strawberries
    • Figs

    Foods that may increase inflammation:

    • Fatty red meats
    • Dairy products
    • Processed foods
    • Refined sugars
    • Nightshade vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers