Things To Know When Screening for Psoriasis

 

Important Health Screenings for People With Psoriasis


The cause of psoriasis is still a mystery, but what is known is that the immune system and genetics play a role in the development of the skin condition. Psoriasis causes red, raised, scaly patches to appear on the skin. It appears outside of the elbows, knees or scalp. However, it can appear in any location throughout a person’s whole life. In many people, psoriasis appears with other conditions or diseases. That’s why it is important to receive health screenings from your doctor to understand if you have psoriasis or other related conditions. If you are diagnosed, you and your doctor can discuss treatment options that are best for you.

There are six main types of psoriasis: plaque, nail, guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic psoriasis. Your doctor can help you understand which type of psoriasis you have and which treatment is best for you. When visiting your doctor, you will receive a health screening to determine if you have psoriasis and which type you have. Once your doctor reviews your medical history, the health screening will begin.

First, the doctor will perform a physical examination. This involves an exam of your skin, scalp and nails. It is important to tell your doctor if you have any other symptoms that may seem unrelated to your psoriasis. This is because psoriasis is actually linked to other diseases, conditions and behavioral problems. These include:

  • Obesity

  • Depression, low self-esteem, or social anxiety

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Cardiovasular disease

  • Parkinson’s disease

  • Kidney disease

  • Other immune diseases (including psoriatic arthritis, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease)

Therefore, in addition to your psoriasis screening, your doctor may screen you for these other diseases and conditions. For instance, if the doctor thinks you may have obesity, they may measure your blood pressure, weight and body mass index. You may also need to provide a blood sample to test your blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels, kidney function, and other markers that may indicate if you have another condition.

Common Health Screenings

Blood glucose and A1c:. 

  • After fasting for at least 8 hours, a finger prick helps draw out a drop of blood that is applied to a test strip. Your A1c is measured through a regular blood test that is then analyzed by a lab. The results of your blood glucose and A1c tests help determine if you have diabetes.

Blood pressure: 

  • To measure your blood pressure, a cuff is placed around your upper arm. High blood pressure can put you at greater risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol levels: 

  • After fasting for at least 8 hours, a healthcare professional will take blood. The results of this blood test will reveal your total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and HDL (good) cholesterol. High cholesterol can put you at greater risk for a heart attack or stroke.

Body mass index (BMI): 

  • BMI is calculated by taking a measurement of your waist circumference or by using your body weight taken by a scale. A high BMI can put you at risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Kidney function: 

  • To determine how well your kidneys are functioning, a healthcare professional will take blood and a urine sample. The results of your blood and urine test will reveal if your kidneys are properly removing wastes and excess fluid from your body. Abnormal kidney function may be a sign of kidney disease.

Depression: 

  • There are many instruments used to screen for depression. The most common methods are short questionnaires in which you rate your responses. Your healthcare provider may also ask you a series of questions that you should answer as honestly as possible.

After health screenings, your doctor can help determine the best treatment plan for your psoriasis. If you have another associated condition or require further testing, your doctor may refer you to another doctor who specializes in that specific disease or condition.

Overall, the treatment for psoriasis depends on the type of psoriasis you have and whether your psoriasis is mild, moderate or severe. Typically, topical creams, ointments, moisturizers and shampoos are used for mild psoriasis. While there is no cure for psoriasis, routine health screenings with your doctor and staying on top of your treatment plan can help reduce symptoms and clear the skin.

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