Case scenario

Suzanne is a 22-year-old university student who presents to your pharmacy with a prescription for mometasone furoate 0.1% ointment to be applied once daily to an unsightly rash on both her elbows. The rash started a few weeks ago, just as she was about to undertake her university examinations. She says that her doctor has diagnosed her with a skin condition called psoriasis, and she is quite concerned after being told that this is an incurable disease. Suzanne is currently on the combined oral contraceptive pill but is otherwise healthy with no known allergies.

You reassure Suzanne that although psoriasis is incurable, the majority of cases are mild and can be managed well. You provide advice on the use of mometasone furoate ointment and explain that there are a number of treatment options available should the current treatment fail to be effective. Anxiety associated with her recent university examinations may have triggered the psoriasis. You further advise Suzanne about avoidance of potential triggers for the condition and the various nonpharmacological strategies which may be used in conjunction with her ointment.

Learning objectives

After successful completion of this CPD activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Define psoriasis
  • Recognise the clinical presentation of psoriasis
  • Discuss the pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of psoriasis
  • Explain the role of the pharmacist in the management of psoriasis.

Competency standards addressed (2016): 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.5

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Introduction

Psoriasis is a common chronic multisystem inflammatory disease that is often associated with inflammatory skin plaques.1 The exact cause is

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