When I first saw red, flaky patches appear on my elbow as a kid, I knew almost immediately that it was psoriasis. My mother had psoriasis, and if one of your parents has psoriasis, you have about a 10% chance of developing it. I am part of that 10%. My mother got a referral from our primary care physician for a dermatologist – she knew how important it was to see a specialist – and we were seen within the month. As an adult, I’ve always known I needed to see medical dermatologists as opposed to cosmetic dermatologists, because my first experience was such a positive one.
It was crucial to have a dermatologist diagnose me with psoriasis because about a week later, I began treatment for my psoriasis. I have heard from my community that a psoriasis diagnosis has sometimes taken months and months to get, thereby delaying treatment and delaying relief from psoriasis symptoms. The right dermatologist can help get you a psoriasis diagnosis sooner and you can start managing your psoriasis sooner, as well.
Psoriasis is so much more than dark spots and hair removal, obviously. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, which makes it complicated to treat. It is about way more than just the surface of your skin. You want a dermatologist who understands the ins and outs of the disease – especially your risk for comorbidities.
Wait, what? What the heck are comorbidities and what does that have to do with psoriasis? I’m so glad you asked.