Diagnosing Psoriasis

Written by Kimberly Clark
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Because its symptoms can resemble other skin conditions, diagnosing psoriasis can be tricky. For example, it can be mistaken for eczema, lupus, syphilis, or even some forms of skin cancer. Since psoriasis is more difficult to identify than the abovementioned conditions, the diagnosis may not be immediate.

The process of elimination of these other possible conditions usually precedes the final determination. As there is no blood test to confirm diagnosis, a biopsy of a skin sample, using a microscope, is generally required for certainty. Doctors may rule out some other conditions first before diagnosing psoriasis.

Symptoms of Psoriasis

In addition to tender, red skin, the most recognized symptom that appears in the majority of psoriasis cases is the presence of silvery, flaky scales known as plaques. Another thing doctors look at is where on the body the infected area is located. For instance, psoriasis patches are likely to appear on the scalp, back, elbows and knees. However, there are several different types of psoriasis with a varied range of symptoms and in some cases the patches even appear in the folds of the skin. In this situation, the skin tends to be smooth as opposed to scaly.

The unique pitting and the appearance of small and discolored holes on the nails that trouble most psoriasis suffers are considered by many experts to be telltale signs of the condition's existence. Since psoriasis can be easily misdiagnosed and rapidly affects several functions of the body, it is imperative that you get thoroughly analyzed by a doctor before pursuing treatment options.

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