You notice red patches of skin on your elbows, or maybe silvery scales on your knees. You know that these are common symptoms of psoriasis, so you decide that you need to see a medical professional. But several different doctors treat psoriasis. Who should you talk to about the disease?
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes patches of thick red skin and silvery scales. These patches may also swell, itch, feel sore, or seem hot. Psoriasis typically affects the skin on the elbows, knees, scalp, legs, face, hands, feet, and the back, but it can affect other parts of the body as well.
There are different types of psoriasis; plaque psoriasis is the most common. The type of psoriasis you have can determine which part of your body is affected and what the skin looks like.
People with psoriasis may be at an increased risk for psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular problems, obesity, and diabetes. Psoriatic arthritis occurs in 10-20 percent of people with psoriasis.
Who is at risk for psoriasis?
Anyone can develop psoriasis, but the disease is linked with certain genes. This means that psoriasis runs in families. If you have a family member who was diagnosed with psoriasis, you are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
Psoriasis is more common in adults than in children, and it is equally common in men and women.
It can be difficult to diagnose psoriasis; the disease has many different symptoms, and not all psoriasis symptoms are specific to psoriasis. To get an accurate diagnosis for psoriasis, you must see a medical professional.
Your primary care physician is your first contact for any of your health concerns. After an examination, your doctor may decide to refer you to a specialist, such as a dermatologist or a rheumatologist.
A primary care doctor may be able to help effectively treat and manage the disease. Your primary care physician will also be able to better identify the symptoms and send you to the appropriate specialist. Many specialists do not see patients without a referral.
MANA physicians are some of the very best doctors in Northwest Arkansas. Meet with a MANA doctor today.