Psoriasis Overview

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 markedly fast with buildups resulting 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 Guttate Psoriasis Pustular Psoriasis Inverse Psoriasis
Appearance Most common type (80%)Symptoms include itching, skin cracking, pain

Plaques or raised reddened patches.

Scale-flaky white buildup over plaques, is dead skin cells and often shed

Patches of red, scaly areas of inflamed skinOften associated with lung (respiratory tract) infections

 

This is a rare, painful type of psoriasisVariant with clustered sores and pus-filled pimples

 

 

Also called Flexural Psoriasis Smooth dry inflamed and reddened areas in skin folds

Increased incidence with obesity from rubbing and skin irritation

 

 

Site Affected Found on knees, trunk, elbows, nails  Can occur anywhere on the body  Pustules are limited to palms and soles of feet Typically seen in armpits, genital and buttocks regions, under breasts

 

The diagnosis of the skin condition is sometimes confused in appearance with dandruff, yeast or staph infections.

 

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