Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MyPsoriasisTeam

Psoriasis – The Path to Diagnosis

Posted on August 01, 2018

Article written by
Kelly Crumrin

Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kevin Berman

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

References

FAQ

Can you die from psoriasis?

Two very rare types of psoriasis, generalized pustular psoriasis and erythrodermic psoriasis, can become life-threatening if they are not treated immediately.

Kelly leads the creation of content that educates and empowers people with chronic illnesses. Learn more about her here.

Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D., is a dermatologist at the Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Learn more about him here. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

A MyPsoriasisTeam Member said:

i hope new cream works you are really suffering.

posted 10 months ago

hug (1)

Recent articles

Article written by Sage Salvo Medically reviewed by Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D.For some people with...

Ingrown Hairs and Psoriasis

Article written by Sage Salvo Medically reviewed by Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D.For some people with...
Article written by Amanda Agazio, Ph.D. Medically reviewed by Ariel Teitel, M.D.,...

Is Psoriasis Genetic?

Article written by Amanda Agazio, Ph.D. Medically reviewed by Ariel Teitel, M.D.,...
Article written by Amanda Agazio, Ph.D. Medically reviewed by Dr. Ariel Teitel, M.D.,...

Is Psoriasis an Autoimmune Disease?

Article written by Amanda Agazio, Ph.D. Medically reviewed by Dr. Ariel Teitel, M.D.,...
Article written by Victoria Menard Medically reviewed by Ariel Teitel, M.D., M.B.A.An extensive...

Psoriasis and Obesity: What’s the Connection?

Article written by Victoria Menard Medically reviewed by Ariel Teitel, M.D., M.B.A.An extensive...
Article written by Victoria Menard Medically reviewed by Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D.If you have...

Soap for Psoriasis: What Do Dermatologists Recommend?

Article written by Victoria Menard Medically reviewed by Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D.If you have...
Article written by Nyaka Mwanza Medically reviewed by Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D.The inflammatory...

Psoriatic Arthritis and Nails: Symptoms and Treatment

Article written by Nyaka Mwanza Medically reviewed by Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D.The inflammatory...
Article written by Bethany J. Sanstrum, Ph.D. Medically reviewed by Dr. Ariel TeitelAlthough many...

Psoriasis and Fatty Liver Disease: What’s the Connection?

Article written by Bethany J. Sanstrum, Ph.D. Medically reviewed by Dr. Ariel TeitelAlthough many...
Article written by Amanda Agazio, Ph.D. Medically reviewed by Diane M. Horowitz, M.D.A growing...

Probiotics for Psoriasis: Gut Bacteria and Your Microbiome

Article written by Amanda Agazio, Ph.D. Medically reviewed by Diane M. Horowitz, M.D.A growing...
Article written by Joan Grossman Medically reviewed by Dr. Alexa B. Kimball Biologics are a class...

Biologics for Psoriasis

Article written by Joan Grossman Medically reviewed by Dr. Alexa B. Kimball Biologics are a class...
Article written by Sarah Winfrey Medically reviewed by Diane M. Horowitz, M.D.Many people...

Does Gluten Affect Your Psoriasis?

Article written by Sarah Winfrey Medically reviewed by Diane M. Horowitz, M.D.Many people...
MyPsoriasisTeam My psoriasis Team

Two Ways to Get Started with MyPsoriasisTeam

Become a Member

Connect with others who are living with psoriasis. Get members only access to emotional support, advice, treatment insights, and more.

sign up

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest articles about psoriasis sent to your inbox.

Not now, thanks

Privacy policy
MyPsoriasisTeam My psoriasis Team

Thank you for signing up.

close