Which Healthcare Providers Treat Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflamed, itchy patches and lesions on the skin. A psoriasis specialist is essential for creating a treatment plan for the condition.

However, finding the best dermatologist for psoriasis can be complicated since psoriasis treatment has to incorporate the entire immune system, not just the skin. 

This article discusses psoriasis treatment and medication, including how to find a psoriasis care team that can help you control your psoriasis. 

Female speaking with a female healthcare provider

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Dermatologists

Everyone who has psoriasis should have a dermatologist as part of their care team. Compared to healthcare providers, who treat all sorts of ailments, dermatologists specialize in skin, hair, and nail conditions. 

Dermatologists can help you manage psoriasis by helping you identify triggers, create a skincare routine, and manage medications. They can also offer more treatment options that your primary care provider might not have experience with.

Finding a psoriasis specialist near you can be challenging. Remember that many dermatologists can see you via telehealth, so you can access the best dermatologist for psoriasis, even if they don’t live within driving distance.

Rheumatologists 

A rheumatologist is a healthcare provider specializing in autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, known as rheumatic diseases. Psoriasis is caused by the immune system attacking the skin, which leads to the lesions and plaques associated with psoriasis. 

A rheumatologist is especially important for people who develop signs of psoriatic arthritis. Up to 40% of people with psoriasis will develop this form of arthritis, which happens when the immune system attacks cells in areas of the body other than the skin. The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis include:

  • Swelling and stiffness in the joints, fingers, and toes
  • Changes to the fingernails, including separation or infection
  • Fatigue

It’s important to treat psoriatic arthritis quickly, so it can be beneficial to plan and establish a relationship with a rheumatologist once diagnosed with psoriasis. 

Internists

An internist, also known as a primary care provider, is often the first healthcare provider that people with psoriasis see. Having a primary care provider that you like is just as important as having a psoriasis specialist. Your primary care provider will:

  • Diagnose and treat outbreaks
  • Give you referrals to specialists
  • Take care of your regular appointments
  • Screen you for other conditions that often occur along with psoriasis including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression.

How to Find a Psoriasis Provider

Finding a healthcare provider can be overwhelming. These steps can help you get started:

  • Ask your primary care provider insurance company for referrals.
  • Ask for referrals from peers who also have psoriasis. People in support groups or social media groups may have suggestions.
  • Find a healthcare provider through the Health Care Provider Directory maintained by the National Psoriasis Foundation. 

Tips for Finding the Right Specialist

The best healthcare provider for psoriasis is one that has experience treating the condition. It’s also important that you feel comfortable with your healthcare provider. To treat and manage your psoriasis, you’ll need to be comfortable talking with your healthcare provider about issues ranging from your diet to your stress levels. It would be best to find someone who will take any concerns seriously and with whom you’re comfortable having a candid conversation.

The type of healthcare provider you're working with might also influence the recommended treatments. For example, a rheumatologist is more likely to prescribe oral medications, while a dermatologist is more likely to rely on injections. Both are effective for treating psoriasis, so which course of treatment you prefer comes down to your preference and personal reactions.

Summary

Everyone with psoriasis should have a dermatologist. In addition, your care team should include your primary care provider and a rheumatologist. Other specialists like physical therapists can help you live well with psoriasis. 

A Word From Verywell 

Getting the diagnosis of a life-long medical condition like psoriasis can be overwhelming. One of the best things you can do to improve your prognosis is to build a treatment team that you trust. Look for a dermatologist and primary care provider who are willing to listen to your concerns and help you develop a treatment plan that works for your lifestyle. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What will a dermatologist do for psoriasis?

    A dermatologist will help you create a treatment and management plan for your psoriasis. They’ll talk to you about your symptoms and triggers to understand how things like stress or diet impact your psoriasis. They'll discuss what treatments and lifestyle adjustments can help minimize psoriasis's impact on your life. 

  • What is the best treatment for psoriasis?

    The treatment for psoriasis includes lifestyle changes, over-the-counter medications, prescriptions, and therapies like light therapy. Your treatment team will help you find the right psoriasis treatment by considering your symptoms, past experiences with treatments, and overall health. 

  • What is the main cause of psoriasis?

    Psoriasis happens when the immune system begins attacking the outer layer of the skin. Healthcare providers aren’t sure what causes this to happen. 

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6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Psoriasis Foundation. Dermatologist.

  2. American Academy of Dermatology. Psoriasis resource center

  3. National Psoriasis Foundation. Rheumatologist.

  4. National Psoriasis Foundation. Primary care provider.

  5. National Psoriasis Foundation. Related condition of psoriasis.

  6. Ervant J, Maksabedian Hernandez P, Joseph Tkacz MS, et al. Association of physician specialty with psoriatic arthritis treatment and costs. Am J Manag Care. 2021;27(7):e226-e233. doi:10.37765/ajmc.2021.88706