Practice Pearls for Treating Plaque Psoriasis

Opinion
Video

Experts share practice pearls for managing patients with plaque psoriasis, highlighting the need to educate health care providers about any dermatologic therapy before they commit to treating a patient.

Lauren Miller, MPAS, PA-C: As we wrap up, you already mentioned one of my pearls. I was going to ask you: What are some practice pearls that you would offer to guide other dermatologists and employees who are treating plaque psoriasis and how they manage the disease for their patients? Do you have any key pearls that you like to use?

Jayme Heim, MSN, FNP-BC: [My]key pearl is: Don’t be afraid to treat these patients. If you don’t know how to treat them, definitely send them to somebody who does. Reach out. There are so many resources. MSLs [medical science liaisons], too, are wonderful resources. Invite them into your office, sit down, have lunch, look at the data. Make those relationships and then peers too. And don’t be afraid to treat patients with psoriasis, but definitely educate yourself. It does take time and investment. It does. You’re investing in your patients, you’re investing in their care, and they’re depending on you because not everybody can do this either. And it’s very frustrating, but it’s a very important disease.

Lauren Miller, MPAS, PA-C: I find a lot of providers, even outside of maybe primary care. Obviously we have specialties, so we’re all in dermatology, but we all tend to have our niche where maybe we like psoriasis, maybe we like atopic dermatitis or acne. And so, you know, for providers who maybe this is not their wheelhouse, inflammatory diseases just maybe scare them, they’re overwhelming to them. All of the treatment options overwhelm them. What you spoke to was one of my pearls. If you don’t feel comfortable offering all of the options to the patient, send them to someone else in your clinic, send them to another colleague who you know does feel comfortable. Imagine they’re your sister or your mom or your dad or even yourself. You would want them to get every option possible. Another one of my pearls I spoke to earlier was just if this is something that is a little bit overwhelming and maybe you’re early on in your career and you’re trying to figure out “How can I start prescribing medications?”—pick your favorites. Maybe try one and utilize that one when you need a topical therapy that’s a nonsteroidal, when you need an oral therapy, when you need a biologic. Maybe pick 1 in each class so that you can get comfortable with what it does and the nuances behind it. And then you can start to slowly break out of that. And then finally, don’t forget about the joints. I think that’s big. And even us. It still can be very difficult even being seasoned 15, 20 years in practice. Don’t forget to check the joints or at least ask about joints. Look for the risk factors in the nails, the scalp, because you’re really doing those patients a disservice by forgetting to do that because this isn’t just skin deep. We know that they have inflammation going on beneath the surface that can affect other organ systems and their joints. And so those would probably be my pearls.

Jayme Heim, MSN, FNP-BC: Yes, absolutely. And those are those are excellent pearls, because really, we are here to help those patients and follow up with them. They need a lot of support. You know, a lot of them have been traumatized because they haven’t had the help that they need for a long time. And they really need that support. So don’t just see them and…give them 2 of something and see them a couple of weeks later. Just follow up with them, make sure that their medications are working, make sure that they’re getting their medications through their specialty pharmacies. And if you have a question, reach out, find out.

Lauren Miller, MPAS, PA-C: Use a colleague.

Jayme Heim, MSN, FNP-BC: That’s right.

Lauren Miller, MPAS, PA-C: Phone a friend.

Jayme Heim, MSN, FNP-BC: Yes, that’s right. It’s perfectly fine.

Lauren Miller, MPAS, PA-C: I still have to do that.… It’s a constant learning journey.

Jayme Heim, MSN, FNP-BC: It is. And it’s perfectly fine to say to a patient, “I don’t know, but I’ll get back to you.”

Lauren Miller, MPAS, PA-C: [Say,] “I haven’t encountered this. Let me let me reach out to a colleague who maybe has so that we can try to figure this out.”

Jayme Heim, MSN, FNP-BC: Yes, absolutely.

Lauren Miller, MPAS, PA-C:Well, this has been fun.

Jayme Heim, MSN, FNP-BC: It was fun.

Lauren Miller, MPAS, PA-C: Well, I thank you for joining me today. Thank you for joining us today for this Peers & Perspectives. And we will see you next time.

Transcript is AI-generated and edited for clarity and readability.

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