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When to Seek Medical Care
You should see your doctor or health-care practitioner if you have symptoms of psoriasis, such as red raised patches of skin with silvery scales, and do not feel comfortable with how your skin looks or feels. Psoriasis is usually a mild inconvenience to most people. However, for others, it may be disabling or painful. The doctor can prescribe treatments that help. If symptoms are treated when they first appear, the condition will usually not progress.
When someone with psoriasis visits the doctor, he or she is usually concerned about raised, itchy, red areas on the skin that are scaly or peeling. The individual is typically self-conscious about the plaques or scaly areas and uses clothing to cover the affected skin to avoid being embarrassed in public.
Those with psoriasis commonly recognize that new areas of psoriasis occur within seven to 10 days after the skin has been injured. This has been called the Koebner reaction. Sometimes, the reverse occurs in which psoriasis clears after injury to the skin.
You should always see your doctor if you have psoriasis and develop significant joint pain, stiffness, or deformity. You may be in the reported 10% of individuals with psoriasis who develop psoriatic arthritis.
You also should always see your doctor if signs of infection develop. Common signs of infection are red streaks or pus from the red areas, fever with no other cause, or increased pain.
See your doctor if you have serious side affects from your medications. (See Understanding Psoriasis Medications.)
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