The most common symptoms of psoriasis are thick, raised itchy patches of skin that flare up periodically. The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends that any patients who experienced these symptoms should schedule a visit with a dermatologist.
A dermatologist specializes in moderate to severe skin, hair, and nail conditions, ranging from acne to psoriasis. Although all licensed dermatologists can likely help with your psoriasis, dermatologists who specialize in psoriasis can be especially helpful with severe conditions.
In order to prepare for your first dermatologist appointment, it can be helpful to gather information and questions beforehand.
The dermatologist will likely ask about your skin conditions history, severity, triggers, and current treatments.
The four main factors they will investigate is severity, duration, location, and variation. On a scale of 1-10 how severe is your condition? Where do flare-ups usually occur and how long do they last? Finally, do the symptoms or location vary?
Do you notice any correlation between foods, fabrics, or temperament that may lead to flare-ups? All of these are important to consider in order to be prepared for the conversation.
Have a list of your current medications and dosages ready to provide for the dermatologist or to confirm what is already in the system. Be ready to discuss what treatments you’ve had in the past or currently, especially the degree to which these worked.
If you are there for a diagnosis, the dermatologist will also likely ask about other common symptoms of psoriasis. This includes joint pain or swelling, life stressors, and family skin history. All of this information will paint a clearer picture that the dermatologist will use to inform their diagnosis or recommend treatment.