Do You Think You Have Been Misdiagnosed?

Skin Conditions Resembling Psoriasis

There a number of skin conditions that share similar characteristics to psoriasis. Knowing the symptoms and causes of these conditions can help you identify and speak to your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing.

A rash concentrated on the oily parts of the skin might be a condition called seborrheic dermatitis. It also causes itching and scaly skin on the scalp that looks like dandruff.

Lichen planus results in skin lesions that are autoimmune (where the immune system attacks itself) in nature.

Ringworm is fungal infection affecting the top layer of the skin and unlike psoriasis, ringworm is contagious.

Lastly, if you have pityriasis rosea, it generally starts with one large rash in one area of your body and spreads to other parts of the body, usually the trunk, upper arms and upper legs. It usually goes away on its own and steroid creams, antihistamines, and anti-viral medications can help to treat symptoms.

Getting the Right Diagnosis

Your family doctor or a dermatologist can diagnose psoriasis. You will be asked about family history and what may have triggered symptoms.

A physical exam, including a skin exam, is also done. Your doctor might request a biopsy where a small sample of skin is obtained to confirm psoriasis.

If you have been diagnosed with another skin condition and think you have psoriasis, make an appointment with your doctor and ask for a biopsy. A biopsy is the most accurate method for confirming psoriasis.

If you are not satisfied with your doctor’s diagnosis, get a second opinion. A dermatology referral is good option for getting a correct diagnosis.


While there is no cure for psoriasis, knowing you have it can help diagnose other conditions and determine your risk factors for diabetes, psoriatic arthritis, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular diseases.

If you are concerned that you have been misdiagnosed, it is your responsibility to be proactive. Your doctor will rely on the information you provide in reaching a correct diagnosis and finding the right treatment plan.

And remember, no piece of information or concern is silly or unimportant when it comes to your health.


National Psoriasis Foundation (Americans with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis spend thousands on health care)

National Psoriasis Foundation (About Psoriasis)

National Psoriasis Foundation (FAQs: Questions about complications and other diseases)

Dermatology Times. (Beyond the plaque: Psoriasis patients may suffer metabolic problems)

Up to Date (Psoriasis: Beyond the Basics)

American Academy of Dermatology (Psoriasis)

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by Patricia Bratianu on September 1, 2015
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