Types of Psoriasis

Psoriasis may seem to be of only one type: the red, scaly, uncomfortable kind. But dermatologists know that there are several types of psoriasis discussed as follows:

Plaque psoriasis : About 80% of those who have psoriasis have this form. It is characterized by raised, inflamed, red lesions covered by a silvery white scale. It is typically found on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, although it can occur on any area of the skin.

Inverse psoriasis : Inverse psoriasis is found in the armpits, groin, under the breasts, and in other skin folds around the genitals and the buttocks. This type of psoriasis first shows up as lesions that are very red and usually lack the scale associated with plaque psoriasis. It may appear smooth and shiny. Inverse psoriasis is particularly subject to irritation from rubbing and sweating because of its location in skin folds and tender areas. 

Erythrodermic psoriasis : Also known as exfoliative psoriasis, this is a form of psoriasis that covers almost the entire body. It is characterized by severe redness and scaling, which is often accompanied by itching and pain. Because symptoms are so widespread over the body, this form can be extremely serious.

Guttate psoriasis : This often starts in childhood or young adulthood and resembles small, red, individual spots on the skin that are not normally as thick or as crusty as lesions of plaque psoriasis. This form of psoriasis may resolve on its own, occasionally leaving a person free of further outbreaks, or it may clear for a time only to reappear later as patches of plaque psoriasis.

Pustular psoriasis : Primarily seen in adults, pustular psoriasis is characterized by white pustules (blisters of noninfectious pus) surrounded by red skin. It is not an infection, nor is it contagious. It may be localized to certain areas of the body or can be generalized, covering most of the body. It tends to go in a cycle: reddening of the skin followed by formation of pustules and scaling. 

Palmo Plantar Psoriasis : Palmo Plantar Psoriasis or Palmoplantar Pustulosis (“PPP”) is normally found on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet. Unlike plaque psoriasis, there are no red, scaly lesions, rather a mass of weeping, cracked areas which look like tiny, yellowish blisters. These can be very painful and sore and look “infected”, even though there is no actual infection present within the pustules.

Psoriatic arthritis : About 10 percent of the people who have psoriasis will develop a form of arthritis called psoriatic arthritis. This causes inflammation and swelling in the hands, feet or in larger joints such as the knees, hips, elbows and the spine. It may cause stiffness, pain and joint damage.

Nail psoriasis : Psoriasis can affect toenails and fingernails. It usually appears as pits in the nails and the nails may change to a yellowish colour and become thick or crumble easily. They may also be surrounded by inflammation. In some cases the nail may break away from the nail bed.

Scalp psoriasis : Scalp psoriasis affects at least half of all people who have psoriasis. Raised, inflamed lesions covered with silvery white scales will develop on the scalp and particularly along the hair margins.

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