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Psoriasis (cont.)

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How do health care professionals diagnose psoriasis?

The diagnosis of psoriasis is typically made by obtaining information from the physical examination of the skin, medical history, and relevant family health history.

Sometimes lab tests, including a microscopic examination of tissue obtained from a skin biopsy, may be necessary.

Eczema vs. psoriasis

Occasionally, it can be difficult to differentiate eczematous dermatitis from psoriasis. This is when a biopsy can be quite valuable to distinguish between the two conditions. Of note, both eczematous dermatitis and psoriasis often respond to similar treatments. Certain types of eczematous dermatitis can be cured where this is not the case for psoriasis.

How many people have psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a fairly common skin condition and is estimated to affect approximately 1%-3% of the U.S. population. It currently affects roughly 7.5 million to 8.5 million people in the U.S. It is seen worldwide in about 125 million people. Interestingly, African Americans have about half the rate of psoriasis as Caucasians.

Picture of psoriasis on the elbows
Picture of plaque psoriasis on the elbows. Source: Bigstock.com.
Picture of psoriasis on the hands
Picture of psoriasis on the hands. Source: iStock.com.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/23/2017

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/psoriasis/article.htm

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