Fast Five Quiz: Plaque Psoriasis Presentation and Diagnosis

Chris G. Adigun, MD


July 09, 2021

Psoriasis is nearly always diagnosed on the basis of clinical findings, and laboratory investigations are rarely indicated. In some cases, fungal studies may be useful for distinguishing plaque psoriasis from fungal infections. This is particularly important in patients with psoriasis on the hand and foot that appears to be worsening from treatment with topical steroids.

In patients with severe disease, patients may have low folate levels and mild hyperuricemia, likely due to enhanced epidermopoiesis.

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.

For additional information, refer to the guidelines of the British Association of Dermatologists and the Joint AAD-NPF Guidelines of Care for the Management and Treatment of Psoriasis With Biologics.

Learn more about the workup for plaque psoriasis.


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