FAQs for patients

How long do I have to wait before my skin starts to improve?

In general, you should see a dramatic improvement after you’ve been on a treatment for six months. According to the targets, you should expect to see at least 75 percent improvement after three months. By the time six months have passed, we hope you have clear or almost clear skin. If not, talk to your provider about your treatment options.

I don’t have clear skin yet, but my skin is getting better. Can I stick with my current treatment and see what happens?

In addition to the ultimate treatment target of 1 percent coverage or less, the targets also specify an acceptable response. That’s when your psoriasis covers 3 percent of your body or less. If you’re in the acceptable range after three months, you may want to take the “wait and see” approach. But if you’ve been on your treatment for six months and you haven’t hit your target — having clear or almost clear skin — it’s time to discuss your treatment options.

I’ve been on the same treatment for months, but I’m not seeing any improvement. How can I get better results?

Talk to your provider. Some treatment options you and your provider can consider are increasing your treatment dose, adding a new treatment, or switching to a different treatment. Remember, after you’ve been on your treatment for six months, you should expect to have clear or almost clear skin.

Do these targets mean that every person with psoriasis has to use the same treatment?

No. The targets do not specify a specific treatment. Everyone is different. Your lifestyle, age, medical conditions or other factors may mean that certain treatments are better for you than others. Talk to your doctor about your options, and remember that many people use a combination of different treatments for their psoriasis.

My doctor and I agreed on a treatment. But I’m having trouble getting it. What should I do?

NPF’s Patient Navigation Center is here to help! Our Patient Navigators can help you get the treatment you and your provider have decided upon. From learning how to apply for prescription assistance to appealing insurance denials, contacting the Navigation Center is the first step toward better treatment access.

Should these treatment targets be used by insurers to determine which treatments they will cover?

No. These targets should be used to guide you and your provider. They should not be used by insurers to deny coverage to any treatment.

Could you remind me again what the targets are?

  • After three months on a new treatment, the target is for you to have psoriasis on 1 percent or less of your body surface area (BSA).

  • An acceptable response after three months is 3 percent BSA or less, or 75 percent improvement.

  • If the acceptable response is met, you may decide to stay on your treatment for another three months. But if the target is not met after six months, or neither the target nor the acceptable response is met after three months, you should discuss other treatment options with your doctor.

Have more questions? 

Contact a patient navigator today to get information on treatments and to be connected with a health care provider in your area.