Psoriasis can be subdivided into different types. Though all share common, umbrella symptoms, each possess distinct characteristics in which symptoms differ in location, severity and duration. An individual will normally only show one type of psoriasis at a time it is rare that different types will occur in the same “cycle.”
Plaque Psoriasis (Psoriasis vulgaris)
For more about psoriasis and how to help relieve flare-ups, return to our Psoriasis Treatment Center. Do educate yourself first before proceeding with any treatment or skin care!
Plaque Psoriasis is the most common type – approximately 80% of those with psoriasis have been diagnosed with having Plaque psoriasis specifically. Symptoms are usually found on the scalp, elbows, knees and lower back, and are characterized by red, raised and inflamed lesions coated with silver-y white scales.
The hallmark symptom of pustular psoriasis is red, irritated skin surrounding white blisters of noninfectious pus consisting of white blood cells. Primarily found in adults, these flare-ups are either localized to the hands and feet or cover the majority of the body. Symptoms first start as a reddening of a skin, which is then followed by the formation of pustules that lead to scaling. Pustular psoriasis is typically triggered by medication – internal or topical – and systemic steroids, overexposure to UV light, pregnancy, infections, stress or sudden withdrawal from usual medication.
Guttate psoriasis typically starts early in childhood, appearing as small, pink-red spots where individual dots can be are seen on the skin. These spots then suddenly become guttate lesions – thickened patches of skin, but thinner than those found with Plaque Psoriasis. These abrupt flares are onset by a reaction to medications, respiratory infections, strep throat, tonsillitis, stress and injury to skin.
While the majority of psoriasis forms have symptoms that occur on skin-folds or areas of greater contact with extremities, inverse psoriasis – as its name suggests – is found in the reverse: within folds of skin. Redness and irritation is found in the armpits, groin, beneath the breasts and between any overlapping skin. These psoriasis patches appear as bright-red lesions, smooth and shiny in texture. Sweating in those areas further subjects the already sensitive skin to further irritation. Because this type is more common and severe in overweight individuals, it is advised that daily exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet is followed.
Erythrodermic psoriasis is characterized by intensified redness that covers larger areas – if not the majority – of the body. These widespread flare-ups are periodic and bright red in color. Scales shed in sheets unlike the hallmark, smaller scales. Symptoms also include severe itching, pain, fluctuating body temperature and increased heart rate, all of which can be triggered by severe sunburn. Do see a doctor for immediate and effective treatment. These erythrodermic psoriasis flares cause protein and fluid loss that can lead to severe illness, infection, pneumonia and congestive heart failure.
While psoriatic arthritis isn’t a type of psoriasis, per se, joint problems have been associated with psoriasis conditions in 10-30% of patients. Any joint may be affected, but the most common are joints of the hands, knees, and ankles. In essence, psoriatic arthritis is a destructive form of arthritis marked by intense inflammation, and requires the use of medication.