First published on Thursday 5th March 2020, LAST UPDATED on Tuesday 20th October 2020.
Information for people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, including those taking immunosuppressive medicines
For the most up-to-date advice on COVID-19 (Coronavirus), you should read the guidance on the NHS website.
- Video - Professor Chris Griffiths on COVID-19 and psoriasis
- Resource - Hints and tips for coping well with the COVID-19 pandemic from Professor Chris Bundy
- Am I at higher risk of catching COVID-19 if I have psoriasis?
- What about if I take immunosuppressant medication?
- How can I lower the risk of catching COVID-19?
- Shielding and advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable
- What if frequent handwashing irritates my psoriasis?
- Guidance on face coverings and avoiding irritation of psoriasis
- What research is taking place? Introducing PsoProtect & PsoProtectMe
- Resource - Preparing for a virtual consultation
- Resource - Eating well during this challenging time
- Reporting suspected side effects from medicines
- Useful resources
Video - Professor Chris Griffiths on COVID-19 and psoriasis
The current situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus) has created a significant amount of uncertainty for us all. Now more than ever, access to clear and accurate information is vital to help us to make informed decisions about our own health and wellbeing. With that in mind, we're honoured to bring you information from a world-leading psoriasis expert, Professor Chris Griffiths (Professor of Dermatology at the University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant Dermatologist at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust).
In the video below, our Chief Executive, Helen McAteer, puts some of your most frequently asked questions about psoriasis and COVID-19 to Professor Griffiths.
Please note that the information in this video is correct as of 30th March 2020.
Resource - Hints and tips for coping well with the COVID-19 pandemic
With the current Coronavirus outbreak dominating the headlines it is not surprising that people are feeling anxious and worried about what may happen next. For some people with psoriasis, stress can make the condition flare, so looking after your psychological wellbeing is as important as caring for your physical health.
With this in mind, we have teamed up with Professor Chris Bundy (Professor in Behavioural Medicine at Cardiff University) to create a resource for people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis on how to manage their worry about their condition and its treatment, as well as their concerns about COVID-19.
The tips cover a range of topics including managing your worry, expressing worry and anxiety, coping with isolation and when to access help and support. There is also a daily schedule, to help people to structure their day and stay engaged and active whilst spending more time at home.
Click below to access the relevant documents;
Hints and tips for people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis
Am I at higher risk of catching COVID-19 if I have psoriasis?
There is currently
no evidence to suggest that people with psoriasis are at any more or less risk
of catching COVID-19 than the rest of the population. As such, you should
follow the same precautions as issued by the NHS.
What about if I take immunosuppressant medication?
As far as we are aware, if you take an immunosuppressant medication (e.g. methotrexate and ciclosporin) or biologics to treat your psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, you may be at extra risk of complications from the virus if you are infected. The specific risk for each individual depends on a number of factors, including: which immunosuppressant medications you are taking; whether you are taking just one of these medications, or more than one; and whether you are also living with other medical issues. You can find out more in our 'shielding' section.
It is not necessary for you to stop taking your systemic/biologic medication unless specifically told to do so by your prescriber (e.g. dermatologist, rheumatologist, or biologics nurse), and actually to do so could cause a flare in your condition.
If you do have concerns about continuing your medication, you should speak to your prescriber about the risks and benefits before deciding whether or not to stop your treatment.
If you are taking an immunosuppressant medication for psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis, and you do develop the symptoms of an infection or virus (such as a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) you should follow the latest NHS advice and consult your prescriber on whether or not to continue taking your medication.
If at any stage you do need to seek treatment for the symptoms of COVID-19, it is a good idea to make a note of the different medicines you take and the different conditions that you have, and give this to the healthcare staff who are treating you.
The following guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Scottish Government may be helpful for reference. They are based on the latest evidence and expert opinion, and have been verified as far as possible.
From the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE):
COVID-19 rapid guideline: dermatological conditions treated with drugs affecting the immune response
COVID-19 rapid guideline: rheumatological autoimmune, inflammatory and metabolic bone disorders
COVID-19 rapid guideline: children and young people who are immunocompromised
From the Scottish Government:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Important advice for people with dermatological conditions (not cancerous)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Important advice for people with rheumatic conditions
How can I lower the risk of catching COVID-19?
For the most up-to-date advice on COVID-19 (Coronavirus), you should read the following guidance from:
- The NHS (UK)
- The UK Government (UK)
- The Northern Ireland Executive (Northern Ireland)
- The Scottish Government (Scotland)
- The Welsh Government (Wales)
According to the latest NHS guidance, to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), you should avoid close contact with anyone you do not live with. This is called social distancing. Social distancing guidance should be followed as a minimum in all COVID alert levels and whether or not your local area is also subject to additional restrictions.
In England, the Government has introduced different COVID alert levels, or 'tiers', which are being used to ensure 'the right levels of intervention in the right places to manage outbreaks'.
Check the COVID alert level of your local area or search by postcode.
If you live alone or you’re a single parent who lives with dependent children (i.e. if there is only one adult in your home), you can have close contact with 1 other household (of any size) without social distancing. This is called a support bubble.
General social distancing guidance that should be followed in all local COVID alert levels can be found here.
In Scotland, additional local restrictions have been put in place in certain areas where the number of positive cases is increasing most rapidly. For the rest of Scotland, which currently remains under national restrictions, information about what you can and can't do can be found here.
If you live alone, you're a single parent who lives with children under the age of 18 (i.e. if there is only one adult in your home), or you are in a relationship, but don't live with your partner, you may form an 'extended household' with the members of 1 other household (of any size).
In Northern Ireland, additional restrictions have been introduced following an increase in cases of COVID-19. More information on these restrictions is available here.
People who live alone are still permitted to form a 'support bubble' with one other household without social distancing. Support bubbles are limited to a maximum of 10 people in total.
In Wales, local lockdown restrictions have been put in place in some areas. In addition, national circuit break restrictions will be in place from 6pm on Friday 23rd October until the start of Monday 9th November 2020. In the meantime, general social distancing guidance should be followed as a minimum throughout Wales.
Up to four households can still join together to form an 'extended household' without social distancing. All the occupants of these households will be part of the extended household, no matter how many people are in any of the individual households. However, meetings or gatherings indoors within your extended household must be limited to 6 people at any one time (not including any children aged under 11). This applies in places like pubs and restaurants as well as in people’s homes.
It's very important to do what you can to reduce the risk of you and other people getting ill with coronavirus. You can spread the virus even if you do not have symptoms.
To stop COVID-19 from spreading, you should:
- Try to stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with (or anyone not in your support bubble)
- Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds)
- Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. Emollients can be applied following hand sanitiser use if necessary
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- Wear something that covers your nose and mouth when on public transport, in shops, and when you go to a hospital appointment, or to visit someone in hospital. If you can, also wear a face covering in other places when it's hard to stay away from people.
- Not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
For more detailed information about what you can and cannot do outside your home, please refer to the UK Government's guidance on social distancing and Local COVID alert levels: what you need to know.
There is separate advice about:
What to do if you're at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)
Shielding and advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable
There is specific advice which is intended to protect people who are deemed to be 'clinically extremely vulnerable' to severe illness and hospitalisation from COVID-19 by minimising their interaction with others. If you fall into this ‘clinically extremely vulnerable' category, you should previously have been contacted directly by the NHS or your GP to advise you of this. Up until 1st August 2020, advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable was to 'shield' - stay at home and avoid any face-to-face contact with others. However, this has since been replaced by new, less restrictive guidance which you can find below.
What is the current guidance for people who are 'clinically extremely vulnerable'?
In England, shielding was paused on 1st August 2020. The current guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people is based on the local COVID alert level in your area. This advice is less restrictive than previous shielding advice as many new measures have been introduced over time, including the rule of 6, COVID-secure workplaces, and the widespread use of face coverings, all of which have reduced the need for such restrictive shielding advice.
Updated shielding advice is more targeted and will only apply in some of the worst affected areas and for a limited period of time. This will only apply to some, but not all, very high alert level areas and will be based on advice from the Chief Medical Officer. You are only advised to follow shielding advice if you receive a new written shielding notification advising you to do so.
Check the COVID alert level of your local area or search by postcode.
The different levels of advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people in England
- There is general advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people to follow at all local COVID alert levels. This can be found here.
- You can find the additional advice at local COVID alert level medium here.
- You can find the additional advice at local COVID alert level high here.
- You can find the additional advice at local COVID alert level very high here.
- Shielding advice (only to be followed if you receive a new shielding notification advising you to do so) can be found here.
The NHS Volunteer Responders programme is available to help support those who need it. Volunteers can collect and deliver shopping, medication and other essential supplies. Call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week to self-refer or visit www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk for further information.
In Wales, shielding was paused on 16th August 2020. People in Wales who have previously followed shielding advice (people who are considered to be 'extremely vulnerable') can now follow the same rules as the rest of the population.
Priority supermarket slots continue to be available to people who are considered extremely vulnerable. If you need further support and you do not have family, friends or neighbours to help you, you should contact your local council.
The Welsh Government will keep a record of everyone on the shielding patients list in case they should need to ask anyone to shield again in future. If shielding does become necessary once again, the Chief Medical Officer for Wales will write to you.
In Northern Ireland, shielding was paused on 31st July 2020. This means that people in Northern Ireland who were previously shielding no longer need to follow shielding advice, but should continue to following strict social distancing rules.
Pausing, rather than stopping shielding is just a precaution and there are no plans for it to restart at the moment. The pause is indefinite, but it remains possible that shielding guidance will need to be reactivated if the risk increases in the future.
For information about support after the end of shielding in Northern Ireland, please click here.
A free helpline is also available to those in vulnerable groups to access information, advice and support in relation to COVID-19, between 9am and 5pm on Monday to Friday. You can access the helpline by phone on 0800 915 4604, email at email@example.com, by texting ACTION to 81025, or by completing this form on the Advice NI website.
Please note that registration for priority online food delivery was suspended on 31st July 2020, however those who registered before this date can continue using the service.
In Scotland, shielding was paused on 1st August 2020. Most people who had previously been shielding should now follow the same advice as everyone else in Scotland. The Scottish Government is not asking people to start shielding again unless their GP or healthcare provider has advised them to do so.
This advice does not apply to anyone living in a residential care or nursing home. Care homes are following the separate guidance for care home settings.
If you had previously been shielding, you may sign up to receive text message updates from the Scottish Government to alert you when there is increased risk in your area – to sign up send your CHI number (at the top of your shielding letter) to 07860064525.
You are also encouraged to download the Protect Scotland app to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading again.
There is a free national COVID-19 helpline available 9am - 5pm on Monday to Friday. Call 0800 111 4000 to access the helpline and speak to someone from your local authority.
Priority access to online supermarket delivery slots will continue for anyone who had signed up before August, however new registrations to the scheme are no longer being accepted. You can still arrange for your prescription to be delivered.
The Scottish Government will keep its shielding advice under constant review. If they see an increase in infection rates that gives them concern, they may ask you to take extra steps again to stay safe. If so, they’ll let you know by letter and through the text messaging service.
How do I know whether or not I am in the 'clinically extremely vulnerable' category?
If you fall into the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable' category, you should previously have been contacted directly by the NHS or your GP to advise you of this.
If you are only taking a single medication that affects your immune system and have no other medical issues, it is unlikely that you will fall into the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ category (highest risk), but you may still be 'clinically vulnerable' (higher risk).
We have put together the following information to help make it clearer for people who are living with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis whether or not they fall into this ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ category. If you think you fall into this category but you have not received a letter or been contacted by your GP, you should discuss your concerns with your GP or hospital clinician.
In psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, people who are 'clinically extremely vulnerable', and at the highest clinical risk from COVID-19 include:
- People who have any of the medical conditions on this list from the UK Government (whether they also have psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis or not).
- People who are taking TWO or more immunosuppressive or biologic medicines (please see the list below) for their psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (except a single biologic in combination with methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine or sulphasalazine).
- People who take either Infliximab originator (Remicade) or biosimilars (e.g. Flixabi, Inflectra, Remsima, Zessly), which are given by infusion.
- People who take ONE immunosuppressive or biologic medicine (or a biologic combined with methotrexate, hydroxychloroquine or sulphasalazine) who are ALSO 'clinically vulnerable' (see examples here).
A list of the immunosuppressive and biologic medicines used for psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis:
- Immunosuppressive medications: Ciclosporin, Fumaric Acid Esters (FAE, Fumaderm and Skilarence – Dimethyl Fumarate), Leflunomide, Methotrexate. This does NOT include Acitretin or Sulphasalazine.
- Biologics: Any Adalimumab biosimilar (e.g. Amgevita, Hulio, Hyrimoz, Imraldi) or Adalimumab originator (Humira), Anakinra (Kineret), Cimzia (Certolizumab pegol), Cosentyx (Secukinumab), Etanercept originator (Enbrel) or Etanercept biosimilars (e.g. Benepali, Erelzi), Ilumetri (Tildrakizumab), Kyntheum (Brodalumab), Infliximab originator (Remicade) or Infliximab biosimilar (e.g. Flixabi, Inflectra, Remsima, Zessly), Simponi (Golimumab), Skyrizi (Risankizumab), Stelara (Ustekinumab), Taltz (Ixekizumab), Tremfya (Guselkumab)
- Small molecule immunosuppressants: Otezla (Apremilast), JAK inhibitors e.g. Xeljanz (Tofacitinib)
'Clinically vulnerable' - at a higher clinical risk from COVID-19 (but not the highest risk):
You will be moved up to the 'clinically extremely vulnerable' list ONLY if you meet any of the following criteria AND you are recommended to do so by your clinician:
- If your psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis is well controlled with minimal activity, you are not pregnant or over 70 years of age, you do not have certain long term health conditions, and you are taking only ONE of the following: an immunosuppressive medication, a biologic, or a small molecule immunosuppressant (please see the list above for specific examples).
- If your psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis is well controlled with minimal activity, you are not pregnant or over 70 years of age, you do not have certain long term health conditions, and you are taking ONE biologic (see list above) in combination with methotrexate.
- If your psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis is well controlled with minimal activity, you are not pregnant or over 70 years of age, you do not have certain long term health conditions, and you are taking ONE immunosuppressive medication (see list above) plus Hydroxychloroquine or Sulphasalazine.
At no higher risk but should still follow social distancing measures:
You are not in either of the 'clinically extremely vulnerable' or the 'clinically vulnerable' categories, but you must continue to follow the latest NHS advice, including social distancing measures, as per the rest of the UK population, if you are taking any of the following medications, either alone or in combination:
- Topical skin treatments (creams, gels etc.)
The British Association of Dermatologists has put together a useful risk stratification grid, which can be found here.
If you have psoriatic arthritis, you may also find this risk stratification guide from the British Society for Rheumatology useful if you are taking an immunosuppressant medication and you are unsure whether or not you fall into the 'extremely vulnerable' category.
Finally, full guidance on shielding and protecting people who are 'clinically extremely vulnerable' from COVID-19 can be found here:
- Northern Ireland
What if frequent handwashing irritates my psoriasis?
Unfortunately it is likely that increased handwashing will have an impact on people with psoriasis on their hands. In order to minimise this impact, we have compiled the advice below;
Wash hands with soap and water, then re-wash with an emollient soap substitute
You should follow government guidance and wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds. You may find it helpful to wash them a second time with an emollient soap substitute to help moisturise the skin and prevent it from drying and cracking. A list of soap substitutes or emollient cleaners can be obtained from the Psoriasis Association.
Dry hands gently, and moisturise them afterwards.
Keep tubes of moisturiser by the sink at home, as well as in your handbag or pocket.
Wear cotton gloves with moisturiser at night
Cotton gloves can help moisturiser to penetrate the skin and work more effectively, so consider purchasing a pair and wearing at night, or whilst at home.
Use gloves when washing up
Use plastic or rubber gloves with cotton linings when doing the washing up or hand washing clothes, this will help to prevent unnecessary drying resulting from activities other than washing your hands.
Wear gloves during cold weather
Wear warm gloves when you go out in cold weather, as the cold can be particularly drying to the skin.
Wearing rings, watches and other jewellery may aggravate your skin if your psoriasis is already sore from handwashing. Try removing your jewellery for a few days, and see what effect (if any) this has.
Handwashing instructions from the NHS can be found here.
Guidance on face coverings and avoiding irritation of psoriasis
As part of the gradual changes in restrictions, people across the UK are being asked to wear a face covering (something which safely covers the nose and mouth) in certain places where social distancing is very difficult or not possible. However, the specific guidance varies in different parts of the UK. You can find links to the specific guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales below. Each nation's guidance covers instances in which face coverings must be worn, as well as any exemptions.
- Northern Ireland
Exemption card templates are available for people who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering and may feel more comfortable showing something that states this. However, this is a personal choice and is not necessary in law.
Why are we being advised to wear a face covering?
While evidence suggests that face coverings will not protect you against COVID-19, when used correctly they may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others if you are infected but do not know it. Because face coverings are mainly intended to protect others, not the wearer, they are not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you and your household must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this.
Young children or individuals who find it difficult to wear face coverings, such as people with breathing difficulties or primary school children who cannot use a covering without help, are not advised to wear them.
Wearing a face covering
A face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It should fit securely to the side of the face and be secured to the head with ties or ear loops. It should be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton, and ideally include at least 2 layers of fabric.
You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face. The government has provided advice on how to wear and make your own face covering, which can be found here.
When applying a face covering, it is important that you wash your hands first (or use hand sanitiser) and avoid touching your face. Once applied, you should avoid wearing it on your neck or forehead and avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus.
After each use, you should wash or sanitise your hands before removing the covering, using only the straps, ties or ear loops, and put it in a plastic bag for washing or safe disposal. You should then wash or sanitise your hands again. If you plan to re-use the face covering, it should be washed in soap or detergent first, at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric.
You can find more detailed instructions on how to wear and remove a face covering here.
Face coverings and psoriasis
If you feel that your face covering is irritating your psoriasis, you could try the following:
- Make sure that the covering is made of a breathable fabric that your skin can tolerate. As with many aspects of psoriasis, this may be a process of trial and error.
- Whilst the covering needs to be secure, make sure that it is not rubbing or causing injury to the skin as this could trigger psoriasis through Koebner’s phenomenon.
- Finding the right face covering to lessen irritation may be a process of trial and error. Some people may find wearing a scarf more comfortable if it is for short periods. Or, if you have psoriasis behind your ears it may help to use an extender or adapter to relieve the pressure and attach the covering behind the head. Alternatively, a face covering which ties around the back of the head may be helpful.
- Keep your skin clean and well moisturised
- Wash the covering after each use with a detergent that doesn’t irritate your skin.
- Try to take regular breaks from wearing the face covering.
- Try to avoid wearing make up in the area under the face covering.
- If your psoriasis worsens speak to your doctor about your treatment options.
For further information and advice on scalp or facial psoriasis, please do get in contact with us.
What research is taking place? Introducing PsoProtect and PsoProtectMe
In the video below, psoriasis experts, Professor Catherine Smith and Dr Satveer Mahil of St John’s Institute of Dermatology in London introduce PsoProtectMe – a new survey to support vital research into COVID-19 and psoriasis.
Questions answered in this video include:
- What is PsoProtectMe, and why is it important? (0:20)
- Who should take part in PsoProtectMe? (1:25)
- How can people take part and what will they need to do? (2:17)
- Can patients revisit the survey if they catch COVID-19 after completing it initially? (4:12)
- How will participants’ data be stored and can they withdraw it if they change their mind at a later date? (5:02)
Psoriasis Association is honoured to be collaborating once more with
world leading experts on psoriasis at the St John’s Institute of
Dermatology, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London
and the University of Manchester on a vital piece of research
regarding psoriasis and COVID-19 (coronavirus).
is an online survey for people with psoriasis to complete,
irrespective of whether you have symptoms of COVID-19 or not.
are asking everyone with psoriasis to complete this important online
survey, or to ask a friend or family member to complete it on your
behalf. The online PsoProtectMe survey takes only 5-10 minutes to complete and asks about your symptoms,
psoriasis treatments and any underlying health conditions you may
have. If you have suffered from COVID-19, you will be asked how this
has affected you and your psoriasis. If in the future you develop
COVID-19 we would ask that you revisit the survey (you will be
provided with a unique reference number at the end) and let us know
of your experience.
do complete the survey irrespective of the type or severity of
psoriasis you have, whether you are currently treating your psoriasis
or not. We need all ages to complete the survey in order to build an
information will help us understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is
affecting people with psoriasis, and whether the treatments used for
psoriasis increase or decrease the risk of severe COVID-19 infection.
This will help healthcare professionals make important decisions
about the clinical care of people with psoriasis during the pandemic.
Which is why, even if you are well and have not had any symptoms of
COVID-19 we really need you to answer this survey call. It could be
that your treatment is beneficial in helping protect people from
COVID-19 or it could be that one type, or severity of psoriasis
affects the body’s response to this virus.
contribution will benefit everyone – please help by completing the
PsoProtectMe survey today.
McAteer, Chief Executive of the Psoriasis Association commented, “Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic
has been a worrying time for us all, it has again shown the strength
of the psoriasis community that registries such as PsoProtect and now
PsoProtectMe have been established so quickly to help further our
understanding and treat people with psoriasis and COVID-19. The
commitment of the teams at the St John’s Institute of Dermatology
and the University of Manchester, with support from the Psoriasis
Association is essential to the understanding not just of psoriasis,
but all health events that may affect people living with the
condition. Please do give 5-10 minutes to complete the survey –
your information really is important.”
The Psoriasis Association is pleased to announce its support for PsoProtect, an international registry where health care professionals can report outcomes of COVID-19 infection in people with psoriasis.
PsoProtect has been set up by world-leading psoriasis researchers at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College London, and the University of Manchester to capture de-identified information about the outcomes and experiences of individuals with psoriasis who have had COVID-19. This will provide real world information for clinicians to help them assess risk in people with psoriasis. The registry will also help researchers to investigate whether different medicines or co-morbidities of psoriasis affect the outcome of COVID-19 infection.
This registry will provide a vital clinical and research resource to help in our collective fight against COVID-19 but please note that the registry is for clinicians to submit de-identified data, not patients. However, if you or a family member with psoriasis have had, or get Coronavirus, please do ask your clinician to submit your data to PsoProtect.
PsoProtect will publish regular summaries and insights from the registry, however, they are unable to provide information on request. The latest data can be found here.
Resource - Preparing for a virtual consultation
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that more people than ever are having their healthcare appointments held by telephone or video. For many, this is a completely new experience and it can be a little disconcerting having to rely on technology when you’re used to seeing your doctor or nurse face-to-face. While many aspects of a virtual appointment will be the same as in-person, others (including the technology itself) will be different, which is why we’ve put this resource together.
The tips have been divided into two sections: those to bear in mind in advance of your appointment; and those to consider during the appointment itself. We hope they will be helpful, whether your next appointment is with a GP, nurse, dermatologist or rheumatologist. If you have any tips of your own that you think we should add to the resource, please do get in touch and let us know.
Click here to view the top tips resource
Resource - Eating well during this challenging time
In this challenging time, it is understandable that people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis may be concerned about their diet or have questions about nutritional issues. If you are stressed or outside of your usual routine then your diet can suffer, but it's important to try and maintain a healthy, balanced diet for your general health and wellbeing if possible.
Using information from the British Dietetic Association, we've put together a handy resource to help you continue to eat well. The tips included range from supporting your immune system to planning your food shops, and considering how you store and use your food.
Download the resource here
Reporting suspected side effects from medicines
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, patients are currently being asked to submit all suspected side effects of their medicines using the Yellow Card scheme electronically instead of paper. This is because all Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) staff are working remotely and no longer have access to the MHRA building (since 23rd March) due to the pandemic.
Please note that once the MHRA regains access to its building, it will process any paper suspected side effects reported to the Yellow Card scheme. If you have sent a side effect Yellow Card after 17th March 2020, and you haven’t received an acknowledgement of your report, you may wish to resubmit your suspected side effect electronically.
You can report suspected side effects electronically via:
From the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE):
From UK healthcare experts in psoriasis:
- A series of videos produced by the pharmaceutical company, Janssen, which include information on how COVID-19 spreads, how to manage your condition and treatments, and how to look after your wellbeing in this challenging time, from UK healthcare experts who specialise in psoriasis.
Someone to talk to:
- Samaritans - Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Phone: 116 123 (free to call service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year), website: www.samaritans.org
- Silver Line - Free, 24 hour confidential helpline for people aged 55 and over. Phone: 0800 4 70 80 90, website: https://www.thesilverline.org.uk
- CALM - CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35. Phone: 0800 58 58 58, webchat also available (5pm-midnight, 365 days a year). Calls free from landlines, pay phones and all mobiles. Website: www.thecalmzone.net
- Coronavirus and your wellbeing
From Acas, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service: