Psoriasis can often be diagnosed just by examining the affected part of your skin, but it is sometimes necessary to run some tests before you can be diagnosed. If you see your GP first rather than a skin specialist, you may be referred on to a dermatologist in London to have the diagnosis confirmed by an expert.
Tests for Psoriasis
Your dermatologist may want to take a small sample from the affected area so that it can be tested in the lab. The sample or biopsy can be performed in the clinic. You will be given a local anaesthetic to make the area numb. A small part of the skin will then be removed. Lab tests can be performed on this sample to determine exactly what kind of psoriasis you have and to rule out any other kinds of skin disorders that could be causing your symptoms. You might need to be tested for other skin disorders such as lichen planus, seborrhoea dermatitis, or pityriasis rosea before a diagnosis can be made.
Diagnosing Psoriatic Arthritis
If your symptoms suggest that you may have psoriatic arthritis, you may need to see a rheumatologist as well as your dermatologist in London. Psoriatic arthritis is linked to the same immune system changes that happen in psoriasis. It can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in your joints. You may need to have some blood tests and imaging tests such as X-rays to confirm that your joint problems are linked to psoriasis and to assess the extent of the problem.
Living With Psoriasis
If you are diagnosed with psoriasis, your dermatologist in London will advise you on the best way to manage your symptoms. Various treatment options are available, including medication that can relieve specific symptoms, phototherapy, and medication that addresses the causes of psoriasis. You will also get support and advice on looking after your skin and living with psoriasis.