Having a flare after being in remission can be a scary and frustrating experience. Thoughts run through your head about your previous experiences and you may wonder if your disease will be as bad as it was before. When you have the flare, it is important to recognize it and take the challenge head-on. It’s easy to become stressed from the uncertainty and lack of control, but remember that stressing will only make things worse. Here are some tips to reduce the intensity and time that you may have the flare.
1. Schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately.
2. Have your doctor give you a clinical diagnosis or get a biopsy done to confirm the flare. There are many differential diagnoses for your disease so you want to be sure it is what you suspect.
3. Discuss with your doctor a treatment strategy and begin right away.
4. Track your disease activity in a log, this will help you determine if you condition is improving.
5. Follow up with your doctor regularly and advocate for yourself. Seeing your doctor every 4-6 weeks is recommended. If you have an aggressive flare you may need to see your doctor more frequently.
6. If you need support, contact the IPPF and talk with a Peer Health Coach. Coaches are available to answer questions and help you decide how to best handle your flare.
It is common for flares not to be as intense as your first experience with the disease, but all patients have different experiences. The important thing is to be proactive and stabilize the disease activity as soon as possible. Flares are part of living with pemphigus and pemphigoid but if they are handled quickly and with a positive attitude you can eliminate them sooner.
Remember, if you have questions to “Ask a Coach” because when you need us we are in your corner!