Make your topical treatment part of your daily routine

Integrate your treatment plan into your lifestyle


The important thing is not to be put off by the idea that you need to treat your psoriasis every day.

Daily topical treatments

To get the best results from your treatment you need to use it exactly as your doctor prescribes. But when you’re juggling lots of different demands, it may be tempting to skip a treatment occasionally. Or you may just forget once in a while.

The important thing is not to be put off by the idea that you need to treat your psoriasis every day. Make applying your treatment part of your daily routine – perhaps by linking it to a habit, such as brushing your teeth. You can then store the treatment in the same place as a visual reminder.

Keep your medicine where you will see it every day. This could be beside your bed, in the bathroom cabinet, or even next to the tea and coffee in the kitchen. Of course, make sure you store the medication out of reach of children and pets and in line with the storage instructions.

Making time for your topical treatment

If time is an issue, talk to your doctor about topical format options that are easier to use. If you like to plan each day in detail, you may find it useful to schedule your treatment as a regular ‘appointment with yourself’.

Another option is to create additional free time by asking a friend or family member to take over one of your daily chores. After all, there probably isn’t much difference between the time it takes to do the washing up and the time it takes to apply your treatment.

You may feel more interested to find time for your treatment if you combine it with something you enjoy. Listen to your favourite music, tune into your chosen radio station or catch up on your favourite TV show.

Daily topical therapies: a guide

Topical treatments can vary quite a lot in terms of how easy they are to apply, how greasy and messy they are. Choosing the right formulation can make it easier for you to manage your treatment, especially when you work it into your daily routine. The most common formulations include:
  • Ointment: a commonly used topical treatment. Because of its thick and greasy quality it can be hard to spread evenly.
  • Gel: a topical formulation. It is easier to apply than ointment. Like the ointment, it’s a transparent substance often based on water or alcohol, but for psoriasis there are oil-based gels that aim to keep the moisturizing qualities of an ointment.
  • Creams: these are usually white substances consisting of a mixture of oil and water. They can vary a lot in oil content and share many of the qualities of a gel.
  • Shampoo: a liquid soap with an active ingredient made for scalp psoriasis. Usually you have to leave the shampoo in your hair for between 15-30 minutes before you rinse your hair.

Dealing with mess

If you are being put off from using your treatment by the thought of the mess it creates, you may want to consider an alternative, less greasy treatment.

Talk to your doctor about other topical format options that are easier to use and more cosmetically acceptable.

Keeping track of results

To help you judge the benefits of your topical treatment it’s a good idea to keep track of your progress. Try to record any small changes in the way your skin looks and feels by keeping a diary of your symptoms, and perhaps taking photographs of your plaques at regular intervals.

This will help you see improvements you might otherwise miss; and such visible evidence of improvement can encourage you to stick with your treatment routine and record success and challenges with your doctor

Managing side effects

All topical treatments may have possible side effects. It is important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about these possibilities so that you know what to expect and when to react. You should always contact your doctor if you experience something unexpected when using a therapy.