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How To Find a Good Dermatologist for Psoriasis: Your Guide To Choosing a Specialist Doctor

Medically reviewed by Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD, MSCI
Posted on February 15, 2024

Finding a dermatology specialist is a tough job for anyone, especially for people looking for high-quality treatment for their psoriasis. “Where can I find a dermatologist in Chicago?” one MyPsoriasisTeam member asked. “I am currently waitlisted with my local dermatologist’s office.”

In this article, we’ll discuss the challenges of finding a psoriasis specialist and tips from members who have found one in the past.

What Is a Dermatologist?

Dermatologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions related to the skin, hair, and nails. Dermatologists treat a wide set of skin conditions and also perform various medical and cosmetic procedures.

If you’re living with psoriasis, a chronic skin condition, it’s crucial to find a dermatologist who is knowledgeable about and willing to treat your psoriasis.

Does a Dermatologist Treat Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition characterized by discolored, itchy, scaly patches on the skin. Dermatologists are considered the best specialists to treat psoriasis because this condition primarily affects the skin (although it can cause symptoms across many other body systems).

Dermatologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing, treating, and preventing conditions related to the hair, nails, and skin — including plaque psoriasis. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ/DermNet)


A dermatologist can accurately diagnose your psoriasis and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your specific needs. For example, a dermatologist may prescribe topical creams, light therapy, oral medications, or biologic drugs.

Choosing the Right Dermatologist

Some people may tell you to “take who you can get” because dermatologists are hard to come by. However, you deserve high-quality and empathetic care for your psoriasis. Some things to consider when choosing a dermatologist include cost, location, doctor reviews, area of expertise, and personal preference.

Here are some steps you can take to find a great (and affordable) psoriasis treatment provider.

Look for an FAAD

FAAD stands for “Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.” This credential indicates that the health care provider is a board-certified dermatologist. You can search for doctors with an FAAD by location on the American Academy of Dermatology website.

Alternatively, look for a certification by the American Board of Dermatology, the American Osteopathic Board of Dermatology, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. These certifications mean that this doctor has passed board exams related to dermatology and has the qualifications to treat your skin condition.

Talk to Your Insurance Company

Dermatology appointments and treatments can be expensive, even unaffordable, without insurance coverage. Most insurance plans, public or private, should cover medically necessary skin procedures or treatment options. It is important to ensure that the doctor you find is covered by your insurance and how much you will have to pay in co-payments once you’re there.

You can do this by going onto your insurance company’s website and searching for doctors by specialty and location. You can also find doctors online and check their website or call their office to see if they accept your insurance plan. You deserve affordable, transparent health care, which may be hard to come by.

When in doubt, call your insurance provider and request more information regarding the cost of your upcoming appointment.

Consider Location

“Do you have a local dermatologist or do you go to a major university dermatology department?” one MyPsoriasisTeam member asked.

Depending on whether you live in a city, suburb, or rural area, it may be difficult to find a dermatologist, let alone one who is skilled at treating psoriasis.

When starting your dermatology search, make sure that your doctor isn’t too far away. You may need to make semi-regular appointments during business hours, so make sure that a trip to the doctor’s won’t take you all day. You might be able to find a doctor who is willing to use telehealth for follow-up appointments, reducing your commute time.

Some members have struggled with finding doctors in their area but have been able to find occasional access. “I live up in the mountains and the dermatologist only comes to my area once a week,” one member said.

Consider the forms of transportation you have available so you can realistically make it to your next appointment.

Find a Dermatologist With Psoriasis Experience

Consider the dermatologist's experience and whether they have a specific focus on psoriasis or other skin conditions. Some dermatologists specialize in certain areas within dermatology, such as cosmetics or skin cancer. “Have you had difficulty getting a dermatology appointment for your psoriasis because they seem to prefer their patients seeking anti-aging procedures?” one MyPsoriasisTeam member asked.

Make sure the dermatologist you choose has ample experience and willingness to treat psoriasis.

Some people search for a dermatologist who will perform a specific procedure or prescribe certain treatments. “I want to find a dermatologist that specializes in alternative treatments,” one member shared. “Maybe in combination with traditional medicine for psoriasis.”

Ask these questions at your first appointment so you won't be disappointed later. “Have you ever been told by a dermatologist that they cannot prescribe oral medications for psoriasis because it is not their area of expertise?” one member asked.

Ask for Referrals and Look at Reviews

Certain doctors may have all the qualifications on paper but may have poor patient reviews. Check online or ask around to see whether the dermatologist you’re considering is well-liked by their patients. Keep in mind that people may be more inclined to post a review if they have had a strongly positive or strongly negative experience, so ratings may be biased.

Reflect on Your First Appointment

After your first visit, ask yourself: Does it feel like they listen to you? Do you feel confident with their recommendations? Choose a dermatologist with whom you feel comfortable discussing your concerns. Effective communication is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Additionally, assess the overall environment of the dermatology practice. A clean, well-managed office with helpful staff can contribute to a positive health care experience.

Have Patience

Remember, finding a good dermatologist may involve trial and error. It may take weeks to get your first appointment, and it may be hard to find a psoriasis doctor who is taking new patients. After you secure your first appointment, regular follow-up appointments and open communication will contribute to the successful long-term management of your psoriasis.

Talk With Others Who Understand

MyPsoriasisTeam is the social network for people with psoriasis and their loved ones. More than 125,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with psoriasis.

Have you found a good dermatologist to help you manage your psoriasis? What tips do you have for others searching for their psoriasis care team? Share your experience in the comments below or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.

    Posted on February 15, 2024
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    Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD, MSCI is an assistant professor of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. Learn more about him here.
    Scarlett Bergam, M.P.H. is a medical student at George Washington University and a former Fulbright research scholar in Durban, South Africa. Learn more about her here.

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