There are several types of psoriasis. Each type of psoriasis has its own unique symptoms. These unique symptoms will help the doctor determine which type of psoriasis is present.
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The following is a brief outline of each type of psoriasis and a description of the accompanying signs and symptoms.
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form. It is named for the “plaques,” or lesions, that are characteristic of this type of psoriasis. Plaques tend to be stable and slow growing, and they may remain unchanged for long periods of time.
Signs and symptoms include: Red, raised skin patches (plaques) topped by silvery-white scalesFrequent shedding of silvery scalesOutbreaks most frequent on the elbows, knees, scalp, buttocks, and lower backPatches often occur in the same area on both sides of the bodyPatches may join together to form large affected areas on the back and chestMay involve anywhere from a few areas to almost covering the entire body surfaceOccasional discomfort and cracking in the affected areas, especially palms, fingers, and solesPatches may be itchy
Guttate psoriasis is most often triggered by bacterial infections, such as streptococcus (strep throat) or viral infections, and is most common in childhood or young adulthood.
Signs and symptoms include: Small, salmon pink, drop-like lesions on the trunk, limbs, and scalp
Most commonly found in skin fold areas of the body, such as the armpits, groin, under the breasts, and genital areas. This type of psoriasis is also known as flexural psoriasis.
Signs and symptoms include: Smooth, pink or red, mostly dry patches without a scaly surfaceSensitivity to friction and sweating
This is the least common form of the disease. It can be triggered by severe sunburn, use of certain drugs, or abrupt withdrawal of oral steroids.
Signs and symptoms include: Widespread, fiery redness of the skinSevere itching and discomfort in the affected areasPossible swelling of the affected areas
This form of psoriasis may be triggered by medication, emotional stress, infections, abrupt withdrawal of systemic steroids, or exposure to certain chemicals. It is a more rare form of psoriasis.
Signs and symptoms include:
Blisters containing noninfectious pus in large (generalized) or small (localized) areas of the body
Blisters confined to local areas, usually the palms, fingers, and soles. Pustules appear in a studded pattern, turn brown, and then peel.
Blisters spread over large portions of the body, dry, and then recur again in repeated cycles lasting several days.
Nail findings may include: PittingOnycholysis—nail detachmentSubungual hyperkeratosis—buildup underneath the nailOil-drop sign—yellow-red discoloration of the nail bed