It’s what matters most to the patient. It’s the patient’s perception of the disease, how it affects their mental, physical, social, and romantic state. It represents how the patient feels about the quality, effectiveness, and aggressiveness of their treatment. It is how the patient feels about the quality of care they are receiving. It is also whether the patient’s healthcare provider is sympathetic and understanding to their needs.
Patients quality of life may be more greatly affected when there is a physical component to their disease (such as an intense itch). which can be consistently aggravating or painful. Even over a short period of time, the constant physical aggravation can negatively affect a patient’s perception of the world, the way interactions occur, and the way things are remembered. Highly visible regions of their disease can become a constant source of anxiety, both because of unwanted attention due to their condition, and because of the way a patient perceives that attention. Often with such cases, hope for an effective treatment can seem impossible, instead instilling a feeling of hopelessness, depression, or desperation. Sensational “miracle” treatments may offer temporary (and costly) hope, though little if any therapeutic benefit usually occurs.
However, there is hope, and there are effective treatments available. Psoriasis, eczema, and vitiligo are complex chronic skin conditions, and all require a treatment program that address the disease from multiple angles. Many patients attempt to treat their disease on their own, from taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications to trying expensive herbal preparations purchased online. While the internet offers a comprehensive body of information the patient can use to self-treat, a licensed healthcare provider is ideally suited to diagnosing and formulating the best approach for treatment. Licensed healthcare providers are also authorized to utilize devices and issue treatments, such as targeted UV phototherapy, which patients are not able to own at home or administer themselves.