Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MyPsoriasisTeam

Psoriasis – The Path to Diagnosis

Updated on August 28, 2020
See how 753 members reacted on this article
Medically reviewed by
Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D.
Article written by
Kelly Crumrin

Psoriasis is generally diagnosed through a physical examination. Diagnosis of psoriasis is most commonly performed by a dermatologist.

Psoriatic arthritis is usually diagnosed by a rheumatologist. Diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis may involve imaging scans and blood tests.

How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed?

Typically, the dermatologist will diagnose psoriasis by visually inspecting the affected skin. The doctor may ask about family history and other symptoms you are experiencing during your visit.

In some cases, the doctor may want to confirm the diagnosis by performing a punch biopsy — removing a small piece of the skin for histologic examination. The biopsy sample is sent to a lab where it is observed in more detail under a microscope, and characteristic findings can confirm the diagnosis.

While there is no one conclusive test for psoriatic arthritis (PsA), diagnosis may involve a physical examination, blood tests, or imaging procedures such as X-rays and computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Scans allow the doctor to check for joint damage. Blood tests establish how much inflammation is in the body and help the specialist distinguish psoriatic arthritis from other conditions with similar symptoms, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Skin psoriasis makes a diagnosis of PsA more certain, but the presence of certain blood proteins may point to RA. If arthritis is found symmetrically on both sides of the body, this may also indicate RA.

What Is the Prognosis for Psoriasis?

While symptoms may appear during disease flares and subside during remission periods, psoriasis itself is a chronic condition for which there currently is no cure. However, there are effective treatments for many symptoms of psoriatic disease.

Psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (together referred to as psoriatic disease) are rarely life-threatening. However, people with psoriatic disease have a higher risk for developing diabetes and heart disease. It is important that people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis maintain a healthy weight, eat a nutritious diet, and get regular exercise to avoid developing these dangerous complications.

At What Age Does Psoriasis Start to Develop?

In the majority of cases, psoriasis begins either between ages 20 to 30 or between ages 50 to 60. However, psoriasis may develop in people of any age, even young children and infants.

Condition Guide

A MyPsoriasisTeam Member said:

First was ra then neural doctor told me it was psoriasis

posted 3 months ago

hug

Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D. is a dermatologist at the Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Learn more about him here.
Kelly Crumrin is a senior editor at MyHealthTeams and leads the creation of content that educates and empowers people with chronic illnesses. Learn more about her here.

Recent articles

People living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) have an increased risk for heart...

Heart Disease, Psoriasis, and Psoriatic Arthritis: Understanding the Connection

People living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) have an increased risk for heart...
Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs in about 10 percent to...

Osteoporosis and Psoriatic Arthritis: Is There a Connection?

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a type of inflammatory arthritis that occurs in about 10 percent to...
Certain underlying health conditions are more common in people with psoriasis than in the general...

Conditions Related to Psoriasis

Certain underlying health conditions are more common in people with psoriasis than in the general...
Many effective psoriasis treatments exist today, including medications that are applied to the...

PDE4 Inhibitors and Psoriasis: How Do They Affect You?

Many effective psoriasis treatments exist today, including medications that are applied to the...
A common misconception among the general population is that psoriasis only affects a person...

How To Support Someone With Psoriatic Disease

A common misconception among the general population is that psoriasis only affects a person...
People living with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) may have a much higher risk of type 2 diabetes than...

Diabetes and Psoriatic Arthritis: What’s the Connection?

People living with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) may have a much higher risk of type 2 diabetes than...
During my seven years of psoriasis advocacy, I have had the pleasure of connecting with countless...

My Perspective: Psoriasis and Anxiety

During my seven years of psoriasis advocacy, I have had the pleasure of connecting with countless...
During the COVID-19 pandemic, MyPsoriasisTeam will provide summaries and links to articles of...

COVID-19 and Psoriasis Essential Updates

During the COVID-19 pandemic, MyPsoriasisTeam will provide summaries and links to articles of...
Living with psoriasis presents some expected experiences, such as being judged by other people...

My Perspective: 3 Things I’ve Learned About Psoriasis That Surprised Me

Living with psoriasis presents some expected experiences, such as being judged by other people...
Figuring out what to eat when you have psoriasis can feel like solving a riddle. Since there’s no...

Healthy Snacks for Psoriasis: Ideas for Quick and Easy Bites

Figuring out what to eat when you have psoriasis can feel like solving a riddle. Since there’s no...
MyPsoriasisTeam My psoriasis Team

Thank you for signing up.

close