Did you know? Nearly 8 million Americans have psoriasis compared to 125 million people worldwide. And 10-30% of them also have psoriatic arthritis.
Life with autoimmune diseases like psoriasis is not easy due to the debilitating symptoms like flakes, red and raised patches of skin, soreness around patches and itching and burning sensation around affected areas.
A person is prone to psoriasis at any age, although three-quarters of people with psoriasis get diagnosed before their 40s. Otherwise, many people are only diagnosed with psoriasis when their “unexplained” symptoms lead them to their physician.
HOW A PATIENT IS DIAGNOSED FOR PSORIASIS
Well, it takes a physician to conduct a physical examination of the signs as well as take note of the patient’s medical history. Generally, physical exam and medical history are enough for a physician to rule out the possibilities of other diseases, without ordering a blood test or other tests.
HOW PHYSICAL EXAMINATION LOOKS LIKE
A physician closely examines the areas of skin affected by psoriasis. A small layer of scale is scraped off from the top to see if it leaves a red surface with the tiny blood spots. This is known as Aupitz sign. Then the physician will check your scalp, nails, skin, nose, mouth and the inside linings of your eyelids.
Besides, you will be diagnosed for other health conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, obesity, depression, and cancer. These health conditions are common among psoriasis patients.
DOES IT INVOLVE BIOPSY?
Sometimes, a biopsy is required to find out if its psoriasis or the disease that looks like psoriasis, for example, eczema. A physician will take off a very sample of the affected part and examine it closely under a microscope.
WHY MEDICAL HISTORY DOES MATTER?
Medical history is reviewed by a physician during the diagnosis. Generally, you will be asked about your health, your family’s health history, and your lifestyle. This way, your physician will get an idea if your lifestyle can make the symptoms worse.
Knowing about your family’s medical history is essential as the likelihood of having psoriasis is hereditary. And nearly one-third of people with psoriasis have someone in their family who was suffering from the same disease.
For example, if your parent or sibling has psoriasis, your symptoms are more likely to be associated with psoriasis than other health condition.
WHAT ARE THE SKIN CONDITIONS THAT ARE IDENTICAL TO PSORIASIS?
Diagnosis psoriasis is downright essential to rule out other skin conditions that have similar symptoms. Some of the skin conditions with similar symptoms are eczema, ringworm, seborrheic dermatitis, and pityriasis rosacea.
WHAT SHOULD BE YOUR APPROACH TOWARDS PSORIASIS TREATMENT?
Once it is confirmed that you have psoriasis, your physician will choose the treatment according to the severity of your condition. However, you should have realistic expectations from the treatment. Each medication is meant for the specific sign of psoriasis, some slow down the growth of cells while some ease itching. However, there is no cure for psoriasis yet. Top of that, the results vary from individuals to individuals. Sometimes, the treatment may not work in a first go, requiring you to some more sessions. The treatment is only successful if a patient is satisfied with it. All you need to have patience and right approach throughout your treatment and talk with your physician in case you don’t see improvement. The treatment usually lasts for 3-6 months.
You should get your disease diagnosed, no matter if it looks like eczema or psoriasis. Getting treatment on time will prevent further complications of psoriasis.
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