For the diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis, your family doctor might recommend that you see a dermatologist. A dermatologist is a medical specialist with extensive training in diagnosing and treating skin, nail, and hair conditions. You may also request a referral from your doctor to see a dermatologist who further specializes in psoriasis.

Doctors diagnose psoriasis based on its symptoms. There are no specific diagnostic tests or procedures for psoriasis. If you or your doctor suspect psoriasis, your doctor's diagnosis will likely include:

  • a physical exam, including a skin check
  • a review of your symptoms
  • a review of your medical and family history

Rarely, a skin biopsy (removal and examination of a small piece of skin) may be done to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms.

Psoriasis is usually classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on how large an area it affects and how the condition affects the person's quality of life.

To learn more about how the impact of psoriasis is measured by dermatologists, consult the DLQI (Dermatology Life Quality Index).

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