Psoriasis affects more than 8 million people in the United States, and you may be one of them. Up until now, you may have been seeing your dermatologist in the office. But thanks to advancements in telecommunications technology, you might be able to use telehealth for some of your psoriasis appointments instead. Consider several key reasons that an online psoriasis appointment or telehealth visit can help you manage your psoriasis and stay healthy.
Sometimes you really need to talk to your doctor. Maybe you’re having a psoriasis flare that’s worse than usual, or maybe you need a medication refill. Or maybe you’re experiencing some new symptoms, and you’re not sure what to do about them.
You might not be able to get to your doctor’s office in person as quickly as you’d like. Perhaps you’re limited in the possible times in which you’re free or have limited access to transportation. Perhaps you can’t take the time off work, or you’re a caregiver for children or other family members. A telehealth appointment may reduce or even eliminate those worries. A telehealth appointment can be less disruptive to your schedule because it doesn’t require any travel time–or require you to get somewhere else. Plus, because of its convenience, you can see your doctor over telehealth more frequently if necessary, allowing you to better manage your psoriasis.
You might worry you will receive substandard care from a telehealth visit, but you can put that fear to rest. Research suggests online care for psoriasis is just as effective as in-person care. And some studies show you might even receive better care in certain circumstances when you take advantage of all that telecommunications technology has to offer and collaborate with your physician.
For example, consider this: telehealth can facilitate a two-way exchange in real time. Via the telehealth platform, your doctor can see you and talk to you directly. You have the opportunity to show your doctor how your skin looks and point out any changes. In a well-lit room, your doctor should be able to get a good look at your skin and your psoriasis plaques and make recommendations based on what they’re seeing and what you’re telling them.
Even without a video component, you can send high-resolution photos of your skin to your doctor and submit questions and concerns via email, an app, or a secure portal. Then your doctor can examine your photos, review your concerns and get back to you with their responses. If your doctor feels that an in-person visit is the appropriate next step, they can let you know.
Many people with psoriasis have other medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, anxiety and depression, for which they receive care. Some also receive care for psoriatic arthritis, a condition that causes swollen and painful joints. That’s a lot of time spent in doctors’ offices and waiting rooms.
As a result, you may be eager to reduce the amount of time you have to spend going to see a doctor about your health. Telehealth is well-suited to typical psoriasis management, so you might pursue that as one way to cut back on your waiting room time.
Additionally, telehealth visits eliminate the potential for exposure to contagious diseases that might linger in the air. That’s always a plus during cold-and-flu season, especially if you have any other chronic health conditions that might make you more vulnerable to complications from the flu. During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, consulting your doctor from the safety of your own home is another point in its favor.
Setting up the technology to get access to your doctor may be a little challenging at first (or it might not be, depending on how tech savvy you are). But once you have all your technology in place and you know how to use it, you’re set. You won’t have to download a new platform or access a different app the next time. You’ll know exactly what to do. But if you do run into any problems, you can contact your doctor’s office.
The convenience of telehealth may win you over, especially if you know you’re getting good quality care. And you may even discover other reasons along the way why telehealth can be a good option for receiving care for your psoriasis.