Types of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a very common skin disorder in North America. This inflammatory skin disorder is characterized into 5 sub divisions, each with unique signs and symptoms.

Plaque psoriasis. The most common type of psoriasis is the plaque form. Here one can see large red scaly lesions with silvery scales. The plaques may itch and be tender. The plaques may occur anywhere on the body but are most common on the knees, elbows and scalp area. The number of plaques is variable. When cracked the plaques do have a tendency to bleed.

Nail psoriasis.
Nails on both the fingers and toes can be affected by psoriasis. Psoriasis typically destroys the nails and causes discoloration of the nail. The nails in psoriasis generally become loose and break off.

Scalp psoriasis. Psoriasis on the scalp appears as red, itchy areas with silvery-white scales. one may notice flakes of dead skin on the scalp, or on the shoulders, especially after scratching the scalp.

Guttate psoriasis. Guttate psoriasis usually occurs after a throat infection, in particular after a strep throat infection. The disorder is typically seen in younger individuals and is characterized by tiny oval shaped sores on the body-in particular the trunk, arms and legs. All the sores are covered by a fine scaly rash. The majority of these sores disappear on their own but for those individuals who have repeated throat infections; the skin lesions may be persistent and recurrent.

Inverse psoriasis. A particular type of psoriasis occurs underneath body skin folds, along the armpits, groin crease, under the breast line, around the genitals and even anus. The red patches may vary in size and may be multiple. This type of psoriasis is more common in overweight people, diabetics and is aggravated by heat, wearing tight clothes and excessive sweating.

Pustular psoriasis: This is a rare type of psoriasis and generally appears as large white pustules on the hands and feet. Most of the pustules are filled with pus, are tender and surrounded by redden skin. The blisters may remain for 1-2 days but have a habit of recurring over a period of weeks. The majority of individuals with pustular psoriases are sick and have symptoms of fever, weight loss, no appetite and severe itching.

Erythrodermic psoriasis. This is the rarest type of psoriasis. It usually presents all over the body as a large peeling rash which is itchy and does burn. It is typically triggered by exposure to sunlight, corticosteroids, or stress.

Psoriatic arthritis. At least 20-30 % of individual with psoriasis develop a very deforming type of arthritis. The arthritis is typically seen in the hands. It causes severe swelling of the fingers and stiffness in the joints. In addition, the skin disorder usually destroys the nails which appear thick and pitted. About 30% of individuals who develop arthritis have no signs of any skin disease. The arthritis is variable in intensity but is deforming and can lead to permanent disability.

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