Diagnosis of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an incurable skin disease that causes a person to get red, scaly patches in the skin. Most common affected areas of all are the elbows, knees, the scalp, the face, and the genital area, although other parts of the body may be affected as well. The diagnosis of psoriasis is done by a dermatologist on clinical grounds, although he might want to run a few tests so as to acquire more data.

Psoriasis is believed to be caused by the immune system acting up, which causes and abnormal rate of flaking in the skin. A microscopic examination of a skin sample is needed to rule out other diseases that might be mistaken for psoriasis because of their similar symptoms.

Psoriasis is triggered by several factors. The climate is very important to skin condition, with dry and cold weather serving to aggravate psoriasis. Stress is also a major factor in psoriasis breakouts, people suffering from psoriasis usually find that their skin condition worsens when under stress. Dry skin also worsens psoriasis symptoms as this will hasten the process of flaking of the skin.

The area of skin affected varies from person to person. Some people only get a few lesions, while others can have most of the skin covered. There are two very common types of psoriasis: plaque psoriasis and gluttate psoriasis. In plaque psoriasis, the lesions can be characterized by scaling plaques that affect nearly 100% of the skin. Guttate psoriasis more commonly affects the extremities. People with plaque psoriasis are highly susceptible to get guttate psoriasis. In turn, people with guttate psoriasis are highly prone to getting plaque psoriasis.

People suffering from psoriasis are generally affected by arthritic symptoms caused by the disease. The joints are inflamed and deformed by psoriasis. In some cases, the lesions might occur around the fingers, causing the fingers to deform. Fingernails and toenails are also affected, and are also deformed as a result.

The symptoms of psoriasis often disappear on their own without treatment, but they constantly act up as well. This is their main difference from fungal and bacterial infections of the skin that may display the same symptoms.