I have had psoriasis for over 50 years and You never stop learning about this disease. Have you ever sat in front of your doctor and been asked how frequently you experience flare-ups or when the last time your psoriasis went into remission?  My doctors have always asked this question for years. Most doctors probably have notes from your past visits to refer to but they’re words you have told him; not pictures. You’re the one who looks at yourself every day in the mirror and observes changes on your body.

I’ve started keeping a log of sorts years ago to help me answer questions like these. I have psoriatic arthritis so, it’s important for me to know what’s going on inside and outside my body. PsA changes daily for me. If your new to psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, its good to know what your body is experiencing daily.

Here are 3 reasons you should consider beginning to monitor your psoriasis regularly too.

Is it remission or are you getting worst?

For my friends who do not have plaques on the majority surface area of their bodies, it’s probably much easier to tell when their psoriasis is worsening. Any new spot is obvious and easy to detect. The opposite is true for me because any area of skin that has healed shows itself as either faint spots or patches; a reminder of what was once there. With the notebook I use, it’s very easy for me to flip from month to month to match recorded flare-ups against periods where I could’ve been stressed. I can use this information to make better decisions for myself when it comes to managing stress and hopefully preventing or delaying the next flare-up.

Medication That Targets Better

In my notebook, I write specifically which areas of my body, such as the lower leg, navel, upper back, lower back, etc. have plaques and try to make an estimate of their size so that I don’t have to guess if they’ve become smaller or larger over time. This has been particularly effective in noting where flare-ups usually happen. For me they typically appear on my forehead and my legs. Old spots will also be revived during this time. When I visit my dermatologist next, I can also be assured of a better consultation, requesting for medication that targets these hot spots. There are different topical treatments for various parts of your body that can be used along with other medications.

Estimated Time of Arrival To Healing

If you’ve ever wondered to yourself how long a new spot is going to take between growing out and recovering, just look to your notebook or how you have decided to create a spreadsheet or word document because digital is better right? You should be able to tell roughly the duration your plaques remain on your skin. Personally, I’ve found that my bigger spots take longer to heal. When I’m relatively stress-free, they more or less go away in 2 months or so but when I’m through the roof with pressure, not only are they persistent but they grow too. I’ve come to embrace this as my body’s tangible signal for me to slow down and take it easy.

I know I’m not the only one who has adopted this practice so if this is you too, how has monitoring helped you manage this disease and your life?