Fast Five Quiz: Plaque Psoriasis Presentation and Diagnosis

Chris G. Adigun, MD


May 21, 2020

While the diagnosis of plaque psoriasis is nearly always made on the basis of clinical findings, additional studies can provide important clinical information. For example, joint pain history can facilitate the diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, which often evades detection on x-ray until it is advanced and irreversible.

Fungal studies may be useful for distinguishing plaque psoriasis from fungal infections, which is particularly important in patients with psoriasis on the hand and foot that appears to be worsening from treatment with topical steroids.

Skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of plaque psoriasis is typically saved for the assessment of atypical cases or for ruling out other conditions when diagnosis is uncertain.

According to an expert consensus study from the National Psoriasis Foundation, body surface area alone is not enough to determine disease severity. Clinicians should also assess patient-reported measures of quality of life and symptoms, such as pruritus and pain, when determining disease severity.

Learn more about the workup for plaque psoriasis.


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