There are several different types of psoriasis, and each type has slightly different symptoms. Most types have cycles where they cause problems for a few weeks or months, then subside and may even go away completely for a while. The most common type is plaque psoriasis, and the symptoms include:
• Plaques of skin that are red and inflamed with loose, silver scales. It is itchy and painful and may split and bleed. The plaques can grow in size and merge with other plaques, covering a large area of the body.
• Pitting and discoloration of the toenails and fingernails that may cause the nails to separate from the finger
• Plaques on the scalp that may have areas of bleeding if the plaque is scratched
Some of the symptoms of other types are:
• Scalp psoriasis develops on the scalp as itchy, red areas with white scales. The patches may extend beyond the hairline. It may produce flakes of dead skin that you find on your shoulders.
• Nail psoriasis affects toenails and fingernails. It causes abnormal nail growth, pitting and discoloration. The nail may separate from the finger and in severe cases, the nail may crumble.
• Inverse psoriasis affects the armpits, groin and under the breasts. Red, inflamed skin is worsened by sweating and friction. A fungal infestation may trigger this condition.
• Guttate psoriasis usually affects children and young adults. It may be triggered by strep throat. The symptoms are small sores on the arms, legs, trunk and scalp. The sores may be covered with fine scales, but are not as thick as plaque psoriasis. It is possible to have a single outbreak that goes away, or repeated outbreaks.
• Pustular psoriasis is not common. It occurs on small areas of the hands, feet or fingertips. It erupts quickly with pus-filled blisters a few hours after the area becomes red and tender. The blisters come and go frequently. Other symptoms may be severe itching, fever, chills and diarrhea.
• Erythrodermic psoriasis is the least common type. The main symptom is a red, peeling rash that covers your whole body with extreme itching and burning.
• Psoriatic arthritis not only produces red, scaly skin, but it also affects the nails and causes swollen and painful joints. Symptoms can be very mild or severe and affect any joint. In the most severe cases, the joints may become deformed. The cause of psoriasis is not completely known, but research shows that it may be connected to a problem in the immune system. A type of white blood cell may attach healthy skin cells by mistake.
During a consultation with our specialists at Rao Dermatology, the type of psoriasis you have may be diagnosed and a treatment recommended. It is important to get treatment if your condition becomes more than a nuisance and causes you discomfort and pain. There are medications and combinations of treatments available that can manage your condition so that it does not interfere with your lifestyle. Rao Dermatology has offices in Manhattan, Atlantic Highlands, Woodbridge, Fresno and Hanford. Contact us today to schedule your appointment to learn more.