A woman with hyperpigmentation facepalming while a doctor corrected her.

Do You Know The Term Hyperpigmentation?

Having psoriasis for years, I have come to learn so much about psoriasis. There is still so much to know about psoriasis. Everyone who has psoriasis should learn everything about psoriatic disease.

It is only through knowledge that we can have a true conversation with the doctors about our own health. That conversation is a must instead of just letting the doctor make all the decisions. Why is it so important?

If you do not try to learn everything you can, you will let the doctors diagnose you with most anything. Let me give you a couple of examples of why this is so important so maybe you will understand.

These are examples I have experienced so maybe you can relate and maybe you can't. If you can't, I can almost guarantee you that if you deal with psoriasis, at some point you will understand.

Primary care doctor lacked knowledge of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritic

I had to go see a new primary care doctor several months ago. What he said really got my blood boiling. So what did he say? I told him I have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. His response I will never forget.

He said I don't know anything about psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, but I guarantee you that if you lose weight, your back will not hurt so much. To say I was hot and totally mind blown is an understatement.

The more I thought about it the madder I got. I'm sure most of you can relate. He didn't even try to hear what I said. It was just the same run around about losing weight.

However, since I knew what psoriatic arthritis was, I just found another primary care doctor to go to. When that same doctor's assistant called again to remind me of my next appointment, it was truly my pleasure to tell her I would never come back.

Hyperpigmentation after a plaque clears

My second example comes when I had to see a new rheumatologist. Her first response was to ask me to point out where I had past and present plaque psoriasis. She asked and I obliged.

I started pointing out areas where I had present and past psoriasis. When it came to the past areas of psoriasis, she proceeded to tell me that she didn't think that was where I had psoriasis.

My response: okay what do you think it is? I just love testing doctors that are supposed to know so much more than I do. Don't get me wrong I am no an expert by any means.

However, I knew enough to know the term hyperpigmentation. Never heard of that term? Hyperpigmentation is the term that is used when a psoriasis patch finally goes away.

What is hyperpigmentation with psoriasis?

Hyperpigmentation is the discoloration of the skin that is left behind when a plaque finally clears up. In my case, it is white. See I am of Indian descent so my skin is darker.

When a patch of psoriasis clears on me, it leaves a white color behind. All the dark pigmentation is gone.

The difference between hyperpigmentation and vitiligo

That rheumatologist tried to tell me it was another skin condition called vitiligo. It wasn't until I asked her if she knew the term hyperpigmentation and if not, she needed to look it up.

Sounds rough right but had I not known what it was, I could have let her diagnose me with anything. It is for this reason that I try to tell everyone to learn about psoriasis so they can have a better discussion with their doctor.

The importance of education and advocating for ourselves

We are our own best advocates. No one else can advocate for us better than ourselves. Hopefully, you know what changes your psoriasis has made. In addition, it is my hope that you are your own advocate.

We all should be, but I also know that comes about with the knowledge of knowing most everything you can. Be honest how many of you know what hyperpigmentation means?

If you don't, please look it up so just in case a doctor tries to tell you differently you will know and not get a diagnosis of something that does not apply to you.

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