Psoriasis Australia

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

Being given a formal diagnosis is an important step in determining the most suitable treatment option available to you. There are often many other skin conditions that can be mistaken for psoriasis. Your doctor can make a diagnosis and then help you treat the condition with the right medications.

It is highly recommended that if your GP does diagnose you with psoriasis that you ask to be referred to a dermatologist for more specialised care.

Psoriasis tends to have periods when it flares up and you will experience more symptoms, while at other times it may seem to be dormant and hence you will notice fewer symptons. Unfortunately, there is no cure by psoriasis, but there are many different type of medications that can be used to treat your psoriasis that will allow you to potentnially have clear or near clear skin.

Your doctor will discuss your medical history and conduct a physical examimation, focusing on your skin, nails and scalp. It is possible that further tests may be required such as a biopsy to assist with diagnosis.

The severity of your diagnosis is determined by the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index, know as PASI. This is a formal system used to measure the severity and extent of your psoriasis, before and after treatment. 

A PASI score takes into account how much of the skin is covered by psoriasis plaques and also how red, thick and scaly the plaques are. The higher the PASI score, the greater the severity of your psoriasis.