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Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis

Updated on March 16, 2011

Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis

There are five different types of psoriasis that affect nearly eight million people worldwide. Knowing the signs and symptoms of psoriasis is important in treating psoriasis.

Psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that tricks skin cells into growing too rapidly, can be broken into five separate psoriasis types: plaque psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis, and pustular psoriasis. While none of these types of psoriasis are contagious, they can affect nearly any part of the body. Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, depression and heart disease all commonly occur with psoriasis.

Plaque psoriasis is by far the most common type of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is a form of skin psoriasis that forms red, raised sores covered in silvery white scales. While it can affect any part of the body, its most common targets are the lower back, knees, elbows, and scalp.

Inverse psoriasis signs and symptoms are characterized by bright red sores that are smooth, flat and typically shiny, not raised as with plaque psoriasis. Because of its appearance in skin fold areas like the armpits, groin or buttocks, inverse psoriasis tends to get easily irritated from the constant friction.

Guttate psoriasis symptoms are characterized by individual small red dots appearing on the skin. Guttate psoriasis has a very quick onset most often during childhood or young adult years. Appearing most commonly on the torso, arms and legs, guttate psoriasis can be brought on by many conditions including, but are not limited to, strep throat, stress, injury to the skin, respiratory infections and certain medications.

Erythrodermic psoriasis symptoms are characterized by intermittent attacks of explosive reddening of the skin that occurs in large sections of the body. This reddening will often peel in large sheets instead of the much smaller scales that typically shed with plaque psoriasis. Other signs and symptoms of erythrodermic psoriasis can include serious itching, pain, temperature variations, and increases in heart rate. If you think you are experiencing an eruption of erythrodermic psoriasis, medical attention should be sought immediately. Some things that can trigger these psoriasis symptoms are allergic reactions, bad sunburns, medications, or a sudden withdrawal from cortisone.

Pustular psoriasis is characterized by white, pus-filled blisters that are surrounded by deep red skin. When the pustules begin forming, they almost appear as an outbreak of whitehead acne, except with the extreme redness surrounding it. Beginning with only a reddening of the skin, pustules and scaling of the skin come on later. Stress, pregnancy, infections, and UV light can all contribute to pustular psoriasis.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of psoriasis is useful in recognizing the condition and seeking medical treatment at its first onset. Research and treatments have come a long way through the years, so the symptoms of psoriasis can be easily treated by your medical professional.

Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis
Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis

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