If you suffer from the chronic condition known as psoriasis, you understand how difficult it is to deal with. Flare-ups of this disorder include flaking, redness, inflammation, itching, soreness, of the skin and thick, white, silvery, or red patches forming on the skin. However, psoriasis is not as easy to diagnose as you may think. There are plenty of skin conditions that share some of these same symptoms including eczema, seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff family), lichen planus, viral rashes, rosacea, and many others.
So, how do you know if you actually have psoriasis?
Diagnosing Your Psoriasis
Dr. Matthew A. Mittelbronn of Lakeview Dermatology in Lake Worth, Texas is an expert in diagnosing and treating a variety of skin conditions including psoriasis. Here are the methods he uses to diagnose the condition:
- Physical examination – Psoriasis can often be distinguished from other skin disorders when assessed by a highly trained and experienced dermatologist. Tell-tale signs of plaque psoriasis (the most common form of the condition) include red, raised, inflamed patches of skin, whitish-silver scales, dry skin that may crack and bleed, soreness around the patches, itching and burning sensations, and sometimes even painful or swollen joints.
- Biopsy – When your symptoms are less certain, or when it is important to make a definite diagnosis, Dr. Mittelbronn can biopsy your skin to do so. This can help to confirm the diagnosis of psoriasis by taking a small sample of skin, sending it to a lab, and having it analyzed under a microscope by a specialized doctor (called a ‘pathologist’) experienced in diagnosing skin conditions. This examination will determine whether you definitely have psoriasis, or possibly some other skin condition that can mimic this visually.
Why Is It Important To Have An Accurate Diagnosis?
- Because psoriasis can look very much like a number of other skin conditions, it is important to be certain that your skin problem is due to psoriasis so the correct treatment(s) can be chosen.
- Too often, doctors not familiar with this condition will try treatments that are simply, just ‘wrong’. This usually leads to frustration for the patient and can result in a lack of trust that any doctor knows how to help their problem. In some cases, these ‘wrong’ treatments can even lead to a worsening of the condition, making things even more complicated.
How Is Psoriasis Treated?
- First and foremost, it is important to understand that psoriasis is a chronic condition, and like many other medical conditions (i.e. high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol), it is not something you can simply ‘cure’. Although scientists are daily working hard to understand its causes, there is still so very much more to learn. At present, we are learning many more of the body’s reactions that cause and worsen psoriasis and have focused newer and newer treatments based on such.
- Overall, treatment depends on multiple factors, including the type of psoriasis, where it is located, how extensive the psoriasis is, and a host of other conditions that are unique to each patient.
- Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ for treatment. However, a good dermatologist will take all of these items into consideration when designing a treatment plan for each patient
Psoriasis Diagnosis and Treatment in Lake Worth, Texas
At Lakeview Dermatology, we diagnose and effectively treat a wide variety of skin disorders like psoriasis with a strong focus on achieving positive outcomes and ensuring your safety and satisfaction. Let us help you look and feel your best. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mittelbronn, please call our office in Lake Worth, Texas at (817) 752-5256 or use our convenient online request form.