After the first dermatologist who diagnosed me and led me to do more research, I decided to try another office that was in our insurance plan. I was excited to hopefully find a better experience.
This new dermatologist spent much more time examining my skin and scalp, which I appreciated. This is how I found out I was at 5% coverage. I told her I was using Taclonex and saw some success, but I was looking for a better treatment. She discussed the importance of short- and long-term treatment when it comes to psoriasis, especially considering psoriatic arthritis. At the time, I experienced episodes of mild joint pain, but wasn't worried.
She wrote a prescription for some overnight scalp foam.
Then, she said she thought Humira would be right for me. My stomach dropped. I was floored that she would resort to suggesting a biologic, something that would compromise my immune system, a daily self-injection I'd be stuck with for the rest of my life, after suggesting zero other long-term treatments. All of my trust in her care was gone.
She said many people see positive results, and gave me some brochures.
Despite knowing I wasn't going to start Humira, I decided to go through with the qualifying blood testing because it would be covered by my insurance (I'd never had my rheumatoid levels tested or have been tested for TB, so why not?).
My rheumatoid levels came back at 14. Anything above 14 is considered an issue, so I am on the cusp. Joint pain was never a big issue for me, especially after recently changing my diet, so this was fine. She still thought I'd be a good candidate for Humira. I let her know Humira isn't right for me.
Time for a new dermatologist!
I decided to try out the other doctor at the same office.
In between these two appointments, I had heard about Xtrac online and thought it might be a good option for me, and for many others who don't want to rely on topicals or resort to biologics. It's a light-based treatment, but unlike many others for psoriasis in that it focuses specifically on the spots the patient wants to target, like a little flashlight I guess.
I went to the new doctor with this in mind. He said:
"Have you tried [topical I've been prescribed 3x]?"
"What about [foam that the previous dermatologist prescribed]?"
It annoyed me that he didn't know what I was prescribed.
I explained; yes, I use Taclonex, but it is greasy and sometimes stains my clothes; and yes, I used the foam but it made my hair brittle. So this is why I wanted to try Xtrac. He said my insurance company needs to see if I qualify, and that they'd give me a call.
I was in his office for two minutes. And the next appointment's equipment was being set up while I was talking to the doctor.
This was two years ago, and after finding out over the phone that I'd have to come in for Xtrac at 9am multiple times per week, (their hours were not flexible), I haven't been to a dermatologist since.