Do you need to see a dermatologist?


A dermatologist is a medical specialist with extensive training in diagnosing and treating skin, nail, and hair conditions, including psoriasis. Psoriasis can be a complex condition that can greatly affect a person's quality of life. Dermatologists can use their expertise to effectively treat and manage this condition.

Dermatologists can also further specialize or focus on different areas. For example, some dermatologists focus on cosmetics, surgery, and children. There are also dermatologists who focus on psoriasis.

Why see a dermatologist who specializes in psoriasis?

You should consider asking your family doctor to refer you to see a dermatologist who specializes in psoriasis. There are many reasons why you may want to ask your family doctor for a referral to a dermatologist, including:

  • You are not satisfied with your psoriasis treatment or your treatment is not meeting your expectations
  • You have moderate or severe psoriasis (use the psoriasis severity calculator to figure out how severe your psoriasis may be).
  • Your psoriasis has a great impact on your quality of life (use the psoriasis questionnaire to find out the impact of psoriasis on your quality of life).

Ask your family doctor to refer you to a dermatologist because you would like to live well and manage your psoriasis, which might best be done with a dermatologist who specializes in psoriasis.

A dermatologist can help by letting you know about your treatment options. Dermatologists who specialize in psoriasis have extensive knowledge on all psoriasis treatments, including topical medications, systemic treatments, and light therapy. Dermatologists are one of the first to know about the latest research and advances in psoriasis. Your dermatologist can help you improve your quality of life and ensure your treatment is right for you.

Use the dermatologist finder to find a dermatologist near you.

Preparing for your visit to the dermatologist

Before your appointment, figure out what you want out of your visit. Write a list that includes:

  • your symptoms
  • information from other health care providers you see, such as your family doctor (e.g., other medications you are taking or medical conditions you have)
  • treatments you've tried and what resulted (e.g., Were you satisfied? Did you experience side effects?)
  • concerns you have about your treatment
  • treatments you are interested in
  • any other questions you have

At the appointment, the dermatologist will ask you questions about your medical history, symptoms you have, what you want out of treatment, and how psoriasis has impacted your life. Be prepared to discuss these things and the list that you wrote above. Bring paper and a pen so you can write down the information your dermatologist provides.

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