Ad revenue keeps our community free for you

7 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Psoriasis

Managing Psoriasis

May 20, 2024

Content created for the Bezzy community and sponsored by our partners. Learn More

Photography by Seb_ra/Stocksy United

Photography by Seb_ra/Stocksy United

by Jenna Fletcher


Medically Reviewed by:

Bukky Aremu, APRN


by Jenna Fletcher


Medically Reviewed by:

Bukky Aremu, APRN


Learn how to level up your psoriasis treatment strategy by getting the essential information. These questions can keep you ahead of the game and fully in the know about managing your condition.

Chances are, the dermatologist or doctor you connect with for your psoriasis can offer a wealth of information about this inflammatory condition. But sometimes, they may only share what they know when you give specific prompts.

If you need more information from your treatment team, you might want some jumping-off points. Asking particular questions may help you start a conversation and get what you need during your next appointment.

Join the free Psoriasis community!
Connect with thousands of members and find support through daily live chats, curated resources, and one-to-one messaging.

1. How severe is my psoriasis?

The severity of your psoriasis can affect treatment approaches and suggestions. Your doctor may only recommend topicals for mild cases, but more severe cases may call for stronger, systemic medications, such as biologics.

Doctors often use the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score to measure the scaling, thickness, coverage area, and discoloration of psoriasis on your skin.

The score can help doctors know what treatments to start with. It can also help doctors determine how well the treatment works.

Improved scores show your current treatment works for you. Worsened scores show you may need another type of therapy to help improve.

Your doctor can tell you how severe they think your psoriasis is and expand on what that means for you.

Ad revenue keeps our community free for you

2. What are my treatment options?

No single treatment can effectively treat psoriasis for everyone. Similarly, no treatment option can cure the condition.

That doesn’t mean you can’t enter remission — a time when your symptoms mostly or completely go away.

A dermatologist can discuss what treatments you might benefit from based on your unique situation.

3. What is your overall approach to treating my psoriasis?

A dermatologist can work with you to develop a treatment plan.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, a dermatologist considers the following when developing a treatment plan:

  • where it appears on your body
  • type(s) of psoriasis you have
  • severity of your psoriasis
  • your current medications
  • the effect psoriasis has on your life
  • any other medical condition you may have

Treatment goals typically include:

  • removing scales and clearing psoriasis
  • relieving your symptoms, like itchiness
  • treating changes in nails (if it affects them)
  • stopping or reducing joint pain, if you have psoriatic arthritis

A dermatologist can provide details on the medications, topical creams or ointments, and other recommendations they have for your treatment.

If you need help understanding what they tell you, ask follow-up questions. They can provide clearer explanations if necessary.

Ad revenue keeps our community free for you

4. What is the purpose of each of my medications?

Different medications have different methods of action. Your doctor may prescribe or recommend more than one medication or therapeutic approach.

Dermatologists often prescribe topicals for mild to moderate psoriasis, but some can also treat severe cases, such as Zoryve (roflumilast) or Vtama (tapinarof). Some example topicals include:

Your dermatologist may also recommend light therapy.

For moderate to severe cases, they may recommend systemic or whole-body medications. These often work by targeting all or part of your immune system to help reduce underlying inflammation.

Some examples include:

A dermatologist can explain each recommended therapy’s purpose and discuss their pros and cons. This information can help you better understand your treatment and why it may help.

5. What are the possible side effects of my medications?

Many medications — including topicals — can cause side effects. But just because they can cause side effects doesn’t mean you’ll develop them.

A dermatologist can discuss some of your treatments’ more common side effects and what to watch out for.

If you experience side effects or what you think may be side effects from your treatments, talk with a dermatologist or another healthcare professional as soon as possible. They may recommend changing treatments or suggest ways to manage the side effects.

Ad revenue keeps our community free for you

6. How long will I need treatment for?

You may enter partial or total remission of psoriasis with the right therapies.

But you might not experience the same treatment forever, especially at first.

When you receive a diagnosis, a dermatologist may need to change your treatment to find therapy that works for you.

In one study from 2023, about 26% of people taking biologics switched medications within 24 months, and 14% switched within 12 months. The study found that people taking IL-23 inhibitors may have the least chance of making changes within 24 months of treatment.

Switching rates may vary between medications. A dermatologist can share their experience and provide a general guideline of how often they’ll check your progress and recommend changes.

7. What is the relationship between psoriasis and other medical conditions?

Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease involving your immune system. It can increase your chances of developing other conditions.

Some medical conditions you may want to ask about due to an increased risk include:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • psoriatic arthritis
  • mental health conditions, such as depression
  • other conditions that involve your immune system, such as inflammatory bowel disease

Being at increased risk doesn’t mean you’ll develop other medical conditions, but it does mean your chances can be higher than people without psoriasis.

A dermatologist may recommend you work with other specialists to help monitor your overall health and risk of developing other conditions.

Ad revenue keeps our community free for you

The takeaway

Your dermatologist may have much to share about psoriasis, but they might only cover some information with specific cues.

If you’re having challenges getting the information you need, asking targeted questions can help start a discussion and help ensure you leave your appointment feeling informed.

Medically reviewed on May 20, 2024

4 Sources

Join the free Psoriasis community!
Connect with thousands of members and find support through daily live chats, curated resources, and one-to-one messaging.

Like the story? React, bookmark, or share below:

Have thoughts or suggestions about this article? Email us at

About the author

Jenna Fletcher

Jenna Fletcher is a freelance writer and content creator. She writes extensively about health and wellness. As a mother of one stillborn twin, she has a personal interest in writing about overcoming grief and postpartum depression and anxiety, and reducing the stigma surrounding child loss and mental healthcare. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College.

Related stories

Ad revenue keeps our community free for you