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Access to treatment

Psoriasis can be treated in primary health care or specialised medical care, at a dermatology or rheumatology outpatient clinic.

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Nainen lääkärin vastaanotolla.

Access to treatment

There is no curative treatment for psoriasis, but the right treatment can alleviate even more severe symptoms. The goal of treatment is to minimise the patient’s symptoms, improve their quality of life, and maintain their ability to work and function.

Physicians and patients with psoriasis should discuss treatment and different options together to find a treatment that is feasible and suitable for the patient’s life situation. Sometimes finding an effective treatment requires trying several different treatments.

The treatment of psoriasis is guided by the Current Care Guidelines published by the Finnish Medical Society Duodecim. The patient version of the guidelines can be read online in Finnish.

Psoriasis is classified as either mild or severe according to the Current Care Guidelines. Mild psoriasis is typically treated in primary health care. Treatment of psoriasis co-morbidities is also included in primary health care.

In specialised medical care, dermatology or rheumatic diseases outpatient clinics treat, in accordance with the Current Care Guidelines, patients

  • who suffer from severe, extensive or rapidly progressing skin psoriasis
  • whose arthritis is prolonged or aggravated, a recent inflammation of several joints or resembles ankylosing spondylitis
  • whose condition does not react to topical medication (skin psoriasis), anti-inflammatory drugs or cortisone injections (psoriatic arthritis)
  • whose ability to work is impaired or for whom their condition causes unreasonable subjective challenges (e.g. psoriasis on the face, palms or soles of the feet)

The starting and monitoring of any systemic medication is always the responsibility of a specialist. Children suffering from skin psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis are always treated in specialised medical care, even if the disease is only suspected. The psoriatic arthritis of pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy is treated in specialised medical care.

Severity of psoriasis

Assessing the severity of the disease takes into account the extent and intensity of the symptoms, the disease’s impact on the patient’s quality of life and the effectiveness of previous treatments.

The indicators used to determine the severity of psoriasis are the PASI (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index), BSA (Body Surface Area), DLQI (Dermatology Life Quality Index) and HAQ (Health Assessment Questionnaire). The BSA and PASI measure the area of the rash. The DLQI measures the impact that skin symptoms have on the patient’s quality of life while the HAQ measures the impact of joint symptoms.

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Read more about treatment options

Psoriasis can be treated topically or systemically.