Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to first discuss your signs and symptoms with your family doctor. He or she may refer you to a rheumatologist — a doctor specializing in the treatment of arthritis and related disorders.
What you can do
Before your appointment, you may want to write a list of answers to the following questions:
- What types of symptoms are you having? When did they begin?
- Are there any activities or positions that make your symptoms better or worse?
- Do you or any of your close family members have psoriasis?
- Has anyone in your immediate family ever had psoriatic arthritis?
- What medications and supplements do you take?
You may want to bring a friend or family member with you to your appointment. It's hard to absorb everything about a complicated condition, and another person may remember information that you miss.
What to expect from your doctor
During the exam, your doctor may:
- Closely examine your joints for signs of swelling or tenderness
- Check your fingernails for pitting, flaking and other abnormalities
- Press on the soles of your feet and around your heels to find tender areas
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- Gladman DD. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 19, 2010.
- Psoriatic arthritis. American College of Rheumatology. http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/psoriaticarthritis.asp. Accessed Oct. 19, 2010.
- Kleinert S, et al. Psoriatic arthritis: Clinical spectrum and diagnostic procedures. Clinics in Dermatology. 2007;25:519.
- Gladman DD. Pathogenesis of psoriatic arthritis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 19, 2010.
- Mercier LR. Arthritis, psoriatic. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?sid=1070709009&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-07158-1..00003-1--s2020&isbn=978-0-323-07158-1&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-07158-1..00003-1--s2020&uniqId=223128990-6. Accessed Oct. 19, 2010.
- Gladman DD. Treatment of psoriatic arthritis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 19, 2010.
- Chang-Miller A (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Ariz. Nov. 2, 2010.