Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic, non-contagious skin condition that affects about two percent of the population. While the cause is unknown, psoriasis is linked in some way to the immune system. Skin cells reproduce faster than normal in those with this condition, and buildups result in scaly red patches. These can be seen typically in the knees, elbows, groin and scalp.

Mild cases of psoriasis start with dry, small patches on the skin. In more severe cases, reddened thick scaly patches may cover the whole body. Although psoriasis is a non-curable condition, sufferers may experience long remission periods, especially in warmer climates where they have more exposure to sunlight.

There are four main types of psoriasis that a patient can be diagnosed with:

Psoriasis Vulgaris

This is the most common type of psoriasis, affecting 80% of those suffering from the condition.

Symptoms

  • Itching, skin cracking, pain
  • Plaques or raised red patches.
  • Flaky, white buildup of dead skin cells over plaques
  • Found mainly on knees, trunk, elbows and nails

Guttate Psoriasis

Symptoms

  • Patches of red, scaly areas of inflamed skin
  • Often associated with lung (respiratory tract) infections
  • Can occur anywhere on the body

Pustular Psoriasis

This is a rare, painful type of psoriasis.

Symptoms

  • Clustered sores and pus-filled pimples
  • Pustules are limited to palms and soles of feet
  • Smooth, dry, inflamed and reddened areas in skin folds
  • Increased incidence with obesity from rubbing and skin irritation
  • Typically seen in armpits, genital and buttocks regions, and under breasts

Inverse Psoriasis (also called Flexural Psoriasis)

Symptoms

  • Smooth, dry, inflamed and reddened areas in skin folds
  • Increased incidence with obesity from rubbing and skin irritation
  • Typically seen in armpits, genital and buttocks regions, and under breasts

The symptoms of psoriasis are often confused with those of dandruff, yeast or staph infections, making the condition difficult to diagnose.


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