Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on October 25, 2022
Which Doctor Will You See?
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Which Doctor Will You See?

You might see different doctors for your psoriasis. Your primary care provider, or PCP, might provide much of your treatment. They also might refer you to specialists such as a dermatologist for your skin, scalp, and nails, or a rheumatologist for psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Mental health pros can be key, too. And it can help to gear your appointment prep toward who you’ll see. 

Seeing Your PCP or Dermatologist
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Seeing Your PCP or Dermatologist

You might check in with a dermatologist when you have flare-ups or if your treatment needs to go beyond what your PCP offers. Before an appointment with either doctor, it’s helpful to track your symptoms in specific detail. This should include when, where, and how often they happen; how intense they are; and how they might have changed.  

Seeing a Rheumatologist
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Seeing a Rheumatologist

If you have signs of PsA – such as swelling or stiffness; pain in your joints, ligaments, or tendons; or nail changes – a rheumatologist also will want to know about your symptoms. Ditto if you’ve been diagnosed with PsA. Before your appointment, keep a log to track the location of symptoms, pain level, and how long the symptoms last. 

Use Online Tools and Journals
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Use Online Tools and Journals

If it’s your first time seeing the doctor, or it’s been 6 months since you saw them last, an online screening test is a good way to keep them in the loop. A popular one is the Psoriasis Epidemiology Screening Tool (PEST). Also, track your symptoms with a journal. Pen and paper, an app, texts, or anything handy to jot notes will work. Be sure to log meds and vitamins you take and any questions you want to ask.

Seeing a Mental Health Professional 
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Seeing a Mental Health Professional 

A recent U.K. study found that 98% of people with a skin disease such as psoriasis had psychological or emotional issues linked to it. But only 18% reached out for help. Make your upcoming appointment with a therapist or other pro more fruitful by journaling or jotting notes on:

  • Your feelings
  • How psoriasis affects your daily life and people around you
  • Coping methods or treatments you’ve tried
Outline Goals for the Visit
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Outline Goals for the Visit

Before your appointment, take time to think about what you expect from the consult. For example, your goals might include:

  • Ways you want your condition to get better
  • A possible timeline for your treatment
  • Other conditions that might be related to your psoriasis
Know the Routine
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Know the Routine

Check in with the doctor’s office a few days before your appointment to confirm the time. Also ask about when they expect you to arrive, which is often at least 10 or 15 minutes before. Ask what info or documents you should bring with you and if you can  email or upload them ahead of time. This goes for telehealth sessions, too.

How Will You Get There?
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How Will You Get There?

Will you drive? Take mass transit? Be sure you know not only how to get to the building, but also how to find the right office when you arrive. Ask for directions  when you call ahead. If you have a telehealth appointment, keep the details about time, login info, and how-tos handy. Get help from a tech-savvy friend at appointment time if you need to.

Review Your Insurance Coverage
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Review Your Insurance Coverage

Make sure you know what your insurance plan covers for your visit. Does it provide for specialists, and does it cover the one you’ll be seeing? What about tests, follow-ups, and other treatments? What about copays and deductibles? If in doubt, ask when you call the office.

What to Take With You
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What to Take With You

Tote a portable pastime in case you need to wait a while – think knitting, your tablet, or a phone app or game. Consider bringing along a friend or family member for support, too. They also can help take notes during the meeting. Have pen and paper ready.

Get an Appointment Prep Kit
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Get an Appointment Prep Kit

A free appointment kit will arm you with information, including: 

  • Checklists
  • Tips on how to discuss things with your doctor
  • Helpful points about telehealth appointments

The National Psoriasis Foundation offers one through its website. 

Show Sources


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  3. Bruno Boissonnet / Science Source
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National Psoriasis Foundation: "Primary Care Provider,” "Life With Psoriasis,” “Dermatologist,” "Rheumatologist," “Appointment Prep Kit.”

Mayo Clinic: “Psoriasis.”

Psoriasis: Targets and Therapy: “Assessing and Improving Psychological Well-Being in Psoriasis: Considerations for the Clinician.”

Canadian Psoriasis Network: “Prepare For Your Appointment.”

Phelps Health: “How to Prepare for a Doctor’s Appointment.”

National Institute on Aging: “How to Prepare for a Doctor's Appointment.”

Mayo Clinic: “Prepare for your visit – Billing and insurance matters.”