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Questions to ask a doctor about psoriasis

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DiagnosisTreatment optionsSide effectsWhat medications can help?ManagementSummary
When dealing with psoriasis, it’s natural to have questions. It may be helpful to speak with a doctor about triggers, treatment options, and precautions so you can learn how to manage the condition.
Medically reviewed by Joan Paul, MD, MPH, DTMH
Written by Rashida Ruwa, RN
Updated on

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes skin cells to multiply rapidly, forming thick and scaly patches on the skin’s surface. Also known as plaques, they can be itchy, painful, and even bleed as a result of scratching. 

Psoriasis can also cause emotional distress due to its appearance and the difficulty in managing the condition. If you have been diagnosed with psoriasis, it can be helpful to seek information and support. 

You can ask a healthcare professional specific questions to help you better understand the condition and make informed decisions about your treatment and management plan.

Areas you can focus on when speaking with a healthcare professional include:

The diagnostic process

Healthcare professionals examine a person’s face to depict questions to ask a doctor about psoriasis.
Photography by FG Trade/Getty Images

Learning about the diagnostic process for psoriasis can improve your understanding of the condition and boost confidence in your treatment plan.

Some questions to ask include:

  • How does a doctor diagnose psoriasis?? Are there any specific tests or examinations needed?
  • Are there other skin conditions that mimic psoriasis, and how can a doctor rule them out?
  • What type and severity of psoriasis do I have, and what does that mean for my treatment options?

Treatment options

Being aware of the available treatment options for psoriasis can help you make informed decisions about your treatment plan.

Some questions to ask include: 

  • What are the available treatment options for psoriasis? What does a doctor recommend for my specific case?
  • How does this treatment work to manage psoriasis symptoms?
  • What are the benefits, risks, and potential side effects of each treatment option?
  • How long does it typically take to see results from this treatment?
  • Can you combine the treatment with other therapies for better results?
  • Are there any lifestyle modifications or home remedies that complement my treatment plan?

Potential side effects or complications

It’s important to understand the possible side effects of psoriasis treatments as they can affect your overall well-being.

Some questions to ask include: 

  • What are the potential side effects of this treatment?
  • How common are these side effects, and how can I minimize them?
  • What signs or symptoms should I watch out for that may indicate a complication?
  • How do I know if my psoriasis is becoming more severe, and what should I do if that happens?
  • What treatment options are available if complications arise?
  • Are there any alternate treatment options if I am concerned about potential side effects?

What medications can help with psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that has no cure. However, certain medications can help manage its symptoms. These medications include:

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Topical medications

Topical medications are applied directly to the skin to treat various skin conditions like psoriasis and can help improve symptoms. Common examples include:

  • Corticosteroids: These medications reduce inflammation and itching in the affected areas of your skin. Examples include clobetasol (Temovate) and betamethasone dipropionate (Diprolene).
  • Vitamin D analogs: They can help regulate skin cell growth and reduce scaling, improving the symptoms of psoriasis. Examples include calcipotriene (Calcitrene) and calcitriol (Rocaltrol).
  • Retinoids: Topical retinoids can help manage cell growth and reduce inflammation that comes with psoriasis. A common example is tazarotene (Tazorac).
  • Topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs): A doctor typically prescribes these to treat atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, but it is also common for doctors to prescribe them for psoriasis. Examples include Tapinarof (Vtama) and Roflumilast (Zoryve).

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Systemic medications

You take systemic medications orally or inject them to treat the underlying immune response involved in psoriasis.

Examples include:

  • Methotrexate (Trexall): This medication can help suppress the overactive immune response in psoriasis and slow the growth of the skin cells.
  • Cyclosporine (Neoral): This drug is an immunosuppressant that reduces inflammation. It can be particularly effective in severe cases of psoriasis. However, doctors do not recommend it for long-term use as it can cause high blood pressure and kidney damage.
  • Biologics: This treatment option targets specific parts of the immune system involved in psoriasis. Examples of biologics for psoriasis treatment include etanercept (Enbrel), ustekinumab (Stelara), and secukinumab (Cosentyx).

These medications require a prescription from a healthcare professional. The right choice for you depends on the severity, location, and other specific factors of your psoriasis.

During a consultation, a healthcare professional will assess your situation and discuss the most suitable treatment options, considering effectiveness, safety, potential side effects, and overall well-being.

Management techniques

Psoriasis flare-ups can be distressing, but you could take steps to manage them effectively. 

Some questions to ask include: 

  • How can I effectively manage my psoriasis symptoms?
  • Are there any specific skin care routines or products to help manage my psoriasis symptoms?
  • Should I avoid any specific activities or environmental factors to prevent flare-ups?
  • Are there any dietary recommendations that may help or aggravate my psoriasis symptoms?
  • Can you recommend any support groups or resources providing additional information and emotional support?


Psoriasis can be challenging to manage, but asking the right questions and working closely with a healthcare professional can help you better understand your diagnosis and treatment options.

It can be beneficial to discuss topics such as:

  • diagnosis
  • treatment strategies
  • management techniques
  • potential side effects
  • potential complications

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