With telemedicine, your psoriasis care could become a lot easier.
Telehealth has been gaining momentum all around the world, and the pandemic has only made it even more necessary. Psoriasis patients in particular can use telehealth and telemedicine to their advantage and manage their care and treatment using a computer or a phone. After all, psoriasis is more “visual” than many other chronic conditions.
Telehealth is still new, and it’s not surprising that some people still have concerns about its effectiveness. If you have questions about using telehealth and telemedicine to manage psoriasis, here is some information to help get you started.
Why is Telehealth Useful for Psoriasis?
For starters, telehealth refers to the use of technology to manage health. It’s an umbrella term that includes telemedicine, using devices to monitor health, and using email or messaging systems to share x-rays and other imaging. Telemedicine refers specifically to having appointments with a health professional via live video conferencing.
Telemedicine is convenient because you don’t have to drive, find parking, and sit in a waiting room. If you don’t have a car, it also saves you the money and hassle of taking public transit or a rideshare. This can be really helpful if you have a tight schedule or budget, or if you live a long distance from your doctor.
With telemedicine, you can see your doctor from the comfort of your home, especially if it is a simple question or problem. You can show them your symptoms virtually, or you can send pictures or videos of your skin ahead of time to your doctor. You may be able to get answers to questions faster and more frequently.
You may have psoriasis in a difficult-to-see area like your scalp or genitals. In this case, it could be difficult for your doctor to make a decision about treatment. Plus, many people are simply uncomfortable (for good reason) showing these private areas to their doctors on camera. If this is the case for you, it is best to try to schedule an in-person appointment.
You will also need an in-person visit for any lab work, such as blood tests. If you are also having symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, you may need to come in for imaging tests of your joints.
How to Maximize Your Visit
Make sure you’re in a well-lit, quiet area with a strong internet connection. Try to have all relevant personal information handy as if you were attending an in-office appointment, such as:
- Photo ID
- Insurance card
- List of current medications
- List (or photos) of symptoms or concerns
If you have any concerns about telemedicine, talk to your doctor. They can share how they have used telemedicine in the past and how it has helped them and their patients. You can also talk to the people you know to hear firsthand their experiences. There’s a good chance there are already several people in your social circle who have benefited from the convenience of telemedicine already!
Lindsey Bordone, MD, is a dermatologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
- Your Doctor Will See You Now. Alexandria, VA: National Psoriasis Foundation. (Accessed May 10, 2021).
- 3 Ways to Improve Your Telehealth Visit. Alexandria, VA: National Psoriasis Foundation. (Accessed May 10, 2021).
- Benefits of Telemedicine. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins Medicine. (Accessed May 10, 2021).