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How our doctors diagnose psoriasis

Our doctors will usually be able to diagnose psoriasis during an online video consultation. Other tests are not generally needed.

The doctor will want to look at the affected area of your skin, and maybe also your scalp, nails, elbows and knees. You can show them using the camera on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. They may also ask you about your family history, to see if other members of your family have been diagnosed with psoriasis, as it can be hereditary.

To a doctor, the symptoms of psoriasis are usually readily distinguishable from other skin conditions, and they will normally be able to give you a diagnosis without further tests.

However, in rare cases, you may be referred to a dermatologist, who is a specialist in skin conditions. They may ask for a skin biopsy if the symptoms are not clear or if they feel that confirmation of diagnosis and exclusion of other possibilities is needed.

If this is the case, a biopsy will be taken under local anaesthetic. This will be sent to a laboratory for examination under a microscope.

If you have other symptoms, such as swollen joints, you may be referred for blood tests to test for psoriatic arthritis – a potential complication of psoriasis – or to rule out other conditions.

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