Essential Facts About Psoriasis Symptoms and Types

Psoriasis is a skin condition that occurs when certain skin cells replenish themselves at an abnormally rapid pace. This results in a build-up of dead cells on the surface of the skin. For this reason, psoriasis symptoms usually appear as thick, red, scaly patches. There is no single psoriasis cure, but many effective treatments are available.


Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disorder, and approximately 80 percent of all cases are this type. Also referred to as psoriasis vulgaris, the result is red, inflamed skin over which a layer of silvery, white scales form. The patches typically burn and itch, making it difficult for certain individuals to avoid scratching, which ultimately makes the condition worse. This kind of psoriasis typically affects the scalp, knees, elbows, upper arms and lower back.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a disorder that affects the joints as well as the skin. In over two thirds of all cases, the patient has had plaque psoriasis approximately a decade prior to developing psoriatic arthritis. Approximately 90 percent of all sufferers also have nail changes or fungal infections in the nail bed. Among other common symptoms are warm, discolored joints, sausage-like swelling of the toes and fingers, and stiff, painful joints that are worse in the morning.

Psoriatic arthritis is physically limiting and often quite painful and can become quite severe across the hands and feet. This kind of psoriasis is believed to be strongly linked to an immune system malfunction.

Pustular Psoriasis

Pustular psoriasis is characterized by red, itchy skin over which white pustules form. The blisters often break and drain, but they are not infectious to others. Pustular psoriasis symptoms most often affect hands, feet, knees and scalp. This type of psoriasis is rather uncommon, but usually presents itself for the first time in young adulthood.

Inverse Psoriasis

Inverse psoriasis, also called flexural psoriasis, generally appears in areas where skin folds are present, such as under the breasts, in the groin area or the armpits. The rash is very smooth and shiny, and unlike other types of the disorder, scales and shedding skin are not typically seen. Those who have this type of psoriasis are usually diagnosed rather quickly, as the absence of scales and flaking essentially pinpoint the kind of psoriasis from which they are suffering.

Guttate Psoriasis

When reviewing Guttate psoriasis pictures, it is easy to see that this type of the disorder presents with an appearance that is different from other forms of the condition. Rather than the large, scaly plaques seen with most types of psoriasis, guttate psoriasis appears in small red spots that are sometimes mistaken for measles or chickenpox. Guttate is the second most common type of psoriasis, and in most cases the spots are limited to the torso and appendages, but can also affect the scalp and face. Of all types, guttate psoriasis responds best to treatment.

Psoriasis Treatment

There is no single psoriasis cure, but the Mayo Clinic reports that treatments range from conventional therapies, such as topical or oral medications and corticosteroids, to homeopathic remedies, including mud treatments, special diets and dead sea salt rubs. In many cases, patients must try several remedies before an effective psoriasis treatment is found.