Acne and Psoriasis
Acne and psoriasis has a characteristic appearance and is, therefore, not difficult to diagnose.
- A complete medical history should be taken, including questions about skin care, diet, factors that improve or worsen the condition, medication use, and prior treatment.
- Physical examination includes the face, upper neck, chest, shoulders, back, and other affected areas.
For psoriasis - nails, scalp, etc.
- Under good lighting, the doctor can determine what types and how many blemishes are present, whether they are inflamed, whether they are deep or superficial, and whether there is scarring or skin discoloration.
- Blood tests are done when the patient appears to have hormonal or other medical problems. Stool tests can be helpful in determining whether there is a bacterial or yeast overgrowth contributing to the condition.
- Food allergy testing should also be considered.
The lesions are red, sharply defined plaques covered with thick silvery scales. This distinguishes psoriasis from the diffuse or patchy redness and scaling of seborrheic dermatitis.
Pitting of nail surface with spots of white to yellowbrown (oil droplets) reflects psoriatic changes in the nail matrix and nail bed respectively. Distally, there are irregular onycholysis, splitting, and dystrophic changes. Onycholysis may simulate onychomycosis; therefore, fungal culture will be valuable in diagnosis.
Some important steps for acne and psoriasis
First, wash your face and hands. Do not squeeze them. Do not use bare fingers! Follow with an antiseptic dab or tea tree oil. Last words, DON'T TOUCH, or you will introduce bacteria and create an infection (a pimple).
Never use astringents with harsh alcohols and soaps that overdry the skin. This can make acne even worse. Here is how. If they make the skin overdry, the oil glands will overcompensate and secrete even more oil. You may even develop dermatitis and skin that feels taut and dry.
Don't go for facials too often, not more than every six weeks. However, at-home masks every week or two is fine. Going for facials (extractions, massage, exfoliation) too often can actually inflame or irritate the skin.
Keep your hands off your face. And don't get into the habit of resting your chin on your hands.