Psoriasis: Why See a Specialist?
Psoriasis is a complex disease that affects everyone differently. That’s why all psoriasis patients should follow unique treatment plans tailored to their specific needs. But your primary care doctor may not have all the information you need to manage your psoriasis successfully.
That’s where specialists come in: a psoriasis specialist, called a dermatologist, has the right skills and insight to help you stay in control of your condition. Here’s why:
1. A dermatologist completes extensive training in treating psoriasis and is an expert in psoriasis care.
A dermatologist is a physician who specializes in treating diseases related to the skin, hair and nails. These parts of the body are involved in many aspects of human health, so dermatologists must train extensively to master this area of study. A dermatologist will have expertise in treating psoriasis and other conditions related to the skin, hair and nails.
All doctors complete an internship after they finish medical school, where they have the opportunity to examine patients with skin problems. But dermatologists receive extensive training beyond that. Dermatologists spend three or more additional years in residency training, during which they train under experienced dermatologists and focus on patients with psoriasis and issues affecting the skin, hair and nails. At the end of this period, specialists can take an exam to become a board-certified dermatologist. Look for a doctor who is board certified in dermatology, and you’ll know you’re seeing an expert.
2. A dermatologist never stops learning about psoriasis.
To maintain their board certification, dermatologists must keep up with new developments in their field. They must complete continuing education and renew their license every few years, depending on the state in which they practice and other factors. By following these requirements, board-certified dermatologists stay on top of new treatments and discoveries about the mechanisms involved in psoriasis, so they can then provide their patients with insightful, informed, and up-to-date treatment plans.
3. A dermatologist has extensive experience in treating psoriasis.
Dermatologists see a higher volume and concentration of patients with psoriasis, and thus are more experienced in treating the condition successfully. Because they see lots of patients with psoriasis, they can add real-world knowledge of the disease to their academic and clinical training. They’re able to assess how well patients respond to certain treatments, have a deeper understanding of how psoriasis progresses over time, share insight about effectively implementing lifestyle changes, and recognize symptoms that a general practitioner may miss, among other skills.
4. A dermatologist is a team player.
Dermatologists work with teams of other health care providers who treat patients with psoriasis and can connect patients with nurse practitioners, nutritionists, mental health counselors, rheumatologists, and other experts in psoriasis management. Working with a team can help patients address all aspects of the disease and ensure success.
5. It’s easy to find the right dermatologist for you.
There are thousands of dermatologists in the United States, so how do you know which is the right doctor for you? By searching on Healthgrades.com, you can identify the best dermatologist to help you manage your psoriasis successfully.