No specific test is used to diagnose psoriasis. Doctors examine patients visually and sometimes study a small sample of skin under a microscope. Diagnosing psoriasis can take time, because the patches may be confused with other types of skin disease.
The five most common types of psoriasis are:
- Plaque psoriasis: The most common form, with red patches and silvery scales
- Guttate psoriasis: Small teardrop-shaped spots found on limbs, trunk and scalp
- Pustular psoriasis: Small, pus-filled lesions adjoining active plaques
- Inverse psoriasis: Patches in the skin folds of armpits, genitals and breasts
- Erythrodermic psoriasis: Widespread reddening and scaling of the skin
Also, psoriasis is usually categorized by its severity.
- Mild. A person who has psoriasis on less than 3% of their skin
- Moderate. If psoriasis covers between 3%-10% of a person’s skin
- Severe. When psoriasis covers more than 10% of a person’s body
Once your doctor confirms your diagnosis of psoriasis, it is important to begin treatment that will work for the severity of your condition. Even if you have a severe case of psoriasis, don’t get down. A combination of effective treatment and a positive outlook will go a long way in helping you live a good life with psoriasis!