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How can I find out if I have psoriasis?

psoriasis on elbow
Showing flare-up to a dermatologist: A dermatologist can usually diagnose psoriasis by looking at skin with a flare-up.
Wondering if you have psoriasis? A dermatologist can tell you. This doctor specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases that affect the skin.

To diagnose psoriasis, all a dermatologist usually needs to do is look at your skin. If your skin is very dark, the psoriasis can be hard to see. A dermatologist may need to remove a bit of skin to find out if it’s psoriasis.

If you have psoriasis, a dermatologist can tailor a treatment plan to meet your specific needs. A dermatologist’s medical training gives this doctor in-depth knowledge of psoriasis and its treatments. Dermatologists know which psoriasis treatments can be:

  • Used to treat a patient and for how long

  • Safely used when a patient has another medical condition

  • Used to treat both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis

  • Safely combined—and which can be risky when used together

  • Combined to reduce side effects

A dermatologist can also:

  • Watch for early signs of psoriatic arthritis, a disease that you want to catch as early as possible

  • Recommend lifestyle changes that can reduce psoriasis flares

  • Tell you what can reduce your risk of developing other diseases that are more common when you have psoriasis

  • Help you set realistic expectations for managing your psoriasis

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