Your first visit to a dermatologist can be both frustrating and relieving. It may be frustrating to recap all the unsuccessful steps you have taken to control your psoriasis flare-ups, but it will be a relief to know that experts in the field can present you with a full range of treatment options. Your dermatologist will also advise you of the potential factors that may trigger your psoriasis or make it worse.
Your dermatologist will work with you to unravel the full clinical and family history of your condition. It is important to know if your parents or other relatives have psoriasis, when your psoriasis symptoms first appeared, and which parts of your body are affected.
Other questions you can expect:
- Are your psoriasis plaques itchy?
- Does psoriasis negatively affect your quality of life?
- Are you depressed?
- What medications, if any, have you tried in the past?
- Which medication was the most effective?
- Which medications have not worked at all?
- How do you feel about messy creams and ointments?
- How does your condition react to sunlight?
- Do you experience any joint pain?
Answers to these and other questions will help your dermatologist determine what type of psoriasis you have and the best course of treatment. Feel free to raise any other concerns or questions you have.
Maintaining a positive attitude will help you follow the treatment plan. The emotional support of family and friends is also very important. You may wish to become a member of a psoriasis support group. Please visit the Psoriasis Society of Canada website, www.psoriasissociety.org, for more information.
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