Because psoriasis is usually a clinical diagnosis, you might wonder if the diagnosis is accurate. For the majority of people with the most common or classic signs of psoriasis, the diagnosis is straightforward, and a second opinion will not add new information.
If the symptoms of someone’s skin disease are not consistent with psoriasis in terms of location or appearance, it is sometimes referred to as an atypical presentation of the disease. In this situation, some physicians may order a skin biopsy, while others may begin with treatment to see if the skin improves. A skin biopsy can be helpful to establish a diagnosis, but will leave a small but permanent scar on the skin. Both approaches are common.
A second opinion can be useful if the psoriasis looks atypical or does not respond to treatment. Similarly, if psoriasis worsens dramatically, a different physician may be able to suggest other treatment options. The cost of a second opinion visit may or may not be covered by insurance, so it may be worthwhile to call your insurance plan if you plan to seek a second opinion.
While you may hear different information from varying sources such as family, friends, an internist, or a dermatologist, it is important that you feel as comfort-able as possible with your diagnosis and treatment plan. This may include seeking the expertise and care of a different physician.