Plaque Psoriasis (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
When Should Someone Seek Medical Care for Plaque Psoriasis?
It is prudent to see a physician to confirm the diagnosis of psoriasis when the disease begins. The physician can provide helpful suggestions on how to minimize exacerbations of the condition and treatment options. In minimal disease, over-the-counter medications may be sufficient to control the condition. In more severe, extensive, and perhaps debilitating disease, physicians have a variety of treatments that can control but not permanently cure psoriasis.
What Tests Do Health-Care Professionals Use to Diagnose Plaque Psoriasis?
Usually dermatologists and most primary-care professionals are able to diagnose classical psoriasis on the basis of the appearance of the individual lesions, the tendency to form plaques, and the distribution of those plaques on the elbows, knees, and scalp. Psoriasis can affect one or all the nails of the fingers and toes, causing changes that resemble fungal infections. Psoriasis rarely involves the lips or mouth. Occasionally, atypical psoriasis may require a biopsy (a small piece of surgically removed involved skin) be examined under the microscope to supplement the clinical evaluation. Blood tests are rarely helpful to confirm or support the diagnosis.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/21/2016
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