Dermatologist, Rheumatologist, Allergist: Where The Three Intersect

Most people are not aware that dermatology, rheumatology, and allergy treatments intersect. In fact, these specialty medical fields intersect more often than not. If you see a dermatologist or an allergist, and they refer you to a rheumatologist, you may be confused or concerned. To best understand how these medical fields connect and why one specialty doctor would refer you to another in this triangle, the following information is provided.

Allergist's Role

When you get a rash on your skin, you might think it is an allergic reaction to something that either bit you, brushed up or over you or rubbed up against you. The allergist may determine that it is a skin condition, but not an allergic one, as is the case with psoriasis. He/she may refer you to a dermatologist to confirm psoriasis and/or other forms of non-allergic skin conditions. It may also be possible that non-allergic skin conditions are exacerbated by skin allergies, in which case seeing an allergist is still a reasonable thing to do.

Dermatologist's Role

A dermatologist may see you on a referral from an allergist, or you may see him/her when you have a skin condition about which you are concerned. The dermatologist may diagnose and treat it or, if you have not seen an allergist yet, refer you to an allergist to confirm an allergic skin reaction. The dermatologist may also diagnose your non-allergic skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis. If the dermatologist diagnoses you with psoriasis, he or she may also refer you to a rheumatologist.

Rheumatologist's Role

The rheumatologist may be the first person you see for joint pain, or may be the last one. It depends on what other physical symptoms you are experiencing. If you were referred to the rheumatologist by the dermatologist for something connected to psoriasis, your dermatologist was probably concerned about psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that patients with psoriasis develop after years of dealing with psoriasis. However, signs and symptoms of psoriatic arthritis may begin appearing shortly after you have developed and been diagnosed with psoriasis. Hence, the dermatologist's referral to the rheumatologist.

Diseases and Disorders That Involve All Three

All three medical specialties above intersect with specific disorders and diseases. Psoriasis is just one of many. Fibromyalgia is another, since this disorder affects many of the body's major systems, organs and structures, causing allergies and colds to flare, muscles and joint pain, and increased sensitivity to dermatological conditions. One or more of these specialists can help diagnose what your specific disorder is, and then team up with other specialists to help treat your symptoms.

For more information, talk to a professional like Asheboro Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center.