The best apps for managing psoriatic disease

| Emily Delzell

Whether you want to track symptoms and triggers, set reminders about medications and appointments, log healthy habits or consult with a doctor, there’s an app for that. Some are psoriasis-specific, while others can help you manage life with a chronic disease.

Lauren Eckert Ploch, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Georgia Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center in Augusta, Georgia, and a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, often recommends apps to her patients and says even selfies can have a real medical benefit.

“I love the advent of cell phone photos and videos,” she says. “Many patients get frustrated when their skin clears just before an appointment. With easy access to a camera, they can document their worst flares.”

Read on to discover the best apps to help you live a healthier life. (Note: Most apps listed below are free for Android and Apple devices.)

Manage PsO and PsA

Skin Advocate. “This is my favorite app in dermatology,” Ploch says. “It is a one-stop directory of dermatology organizations to help connect patients with the advocacy groups and support they need.” Sponsored by the Society for Investigative Dermatology, and officially endorsed by the American Academy of Dermatology and the Dermatology Nurses Association, the app gives you access to contact information for dermatology patient advocacy groups and their resources.   

AAD Psoriasis App. For insight into psoriasis and treatment options, Ploch likes this app based on the American Academy of Dermatology’s clinical care guidelines. “It has a wealth of information about psoriasis diagnosis, comparisons with other diseases and treatment,” she says. “There’s some medical jargon, but I find it user-friendly for patients to understand the treatment options available.”

Imagine. This tool uses an outline view to help you take consistent pictures of skin lesions to share with your dermatologist and document changes over time. Track how you feel from day to day with a discomfort graph you can pair with your photos. 

PsoHappy. Now you can take part in a study of how psoriasis affects happiness. Answer a short questionnaire every week, and share your experiences and opinions anonymously through this app, which measures the happiness levels of people with psoriasis. Data are being used for an ongoing global study called the Psoriasis Happiness Report. Download the 2017 report. 

Track + React. Although there aren’t yet any apps exclusively for people with psoriatic arthritis, Ploch recommends this one developed by the Arthritis Foundation for people with joint disease. The app allows you to easily track your pain, stiffness, and other symptoms along with mood, sleep quality, exercise, and medication adherence to see how your daily activities and lifestyle affect your arthritis symptoms. 

MyPsoriasisTeam. Connect to people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis through this app-based social network and support group. Make updates and follow others who can relate to your skin and joint issues; ask and answer questions in the searchable Q&A section; and give or receive instant likes, hugs, and supportive comments. 

CatchMyPain. This digital pain diary for people with chronic pain diseases such as psoriatic arthritis lets you draw the location and intensity of your pain on an avatar and record medications, emotions, and stress and fatigue levels. The app includes a weather-tracking feature that automatically notes temperature, humidity and more with each pain entry so you can see how the climate affects your joint pain. 

Track medications

Complete Tracker for people taking Humira (adalimumab) and MyPathForward for those taking Cosentyx (secukinumab). Generate injection reminders, and create camera and mood diaries for keeping up with your treatment progress. Note: Manufacturers of injectables such as Enbrel (etanercept) and Cimzia (certolizumab) offer online support.

InjectionTracker. Track your injections with this visual diary. In addition to sending reminders, it also lets you note on an avatar exactly where you’ve given yourself injections so you don’t stick the same spot too often. 

Care4Today. Set reminders to take and refill your medications. Plus, track info on wellness metrics such as exercise, diet and weight. 

Talk to a doctor

DermatologistOnCall. Connect with a board-certified dermatologist who can diagnose and treat your skin condition, usually within 24 hours. Doctors can write e-prescriptions in states that allow it, and fax them in states that don’t. Consults are $59 per virtual visit, and are also available online. 

LiveHealth Online. This app lets you browse a menu of doctors and connect for a live consult 24/7 through a video call from your computer or smart device. LiveHealth accepts insurance, or you can pay $49 if your insurer doesn’t cover online medical visits. 

Stay healthy

Symple. With a few quick taps, this health diary lets you record how you’re feeling mentally or physically. It combines this data with info on sleep, daily step count and other health measures to give you an overall picture of how your lifestyle affects your health. 

MyFitnessPal. Because people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have an increased risk for metabolic syndrome, Ploch recommends using an app like this one, which tracks exercise, calorie intake and major nutrients. The basic version is free, but you can upgrade to features that provide more detailed nutritional breakdowns.

Microsoft HealthVault. This app offers a single place to store all of your and your family’s medical, prescription, and insurance information. It also has dashboards for tracking diet and fitness habits. Its security meets health information privacy regulations, and it can connect wirelessly to many other apps and some devices, such as electronic scales, wearable fitness trackers, and blood pressure monitors to electronically sync your info.

Look at the whole picture

Check out the best apps for taking care of your mental health.

 


Driving discovery, creating community

For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.

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