A skin condition that provokes skin cells to multiply faster than usual (roughly 10 times). The skin accumulates into red patches surrounded by white scales. This condition may develop anywhere in the body. However, the most common sites are the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back. This skin condition is not infectious. It means that someone cannot pass on the disease to other persons. In rare cases, it may occur between family members. Psoriasis may appear at any age but commonly happens in early adulthood years. In most cases, this disease remains limited to some areas of the body. However, if a person experiences severe psoriasis, it can extend to several parts of the body.

Types of Psoriasis

There are different types of this skin condition. Check below for some examples:

Plaque Psoriasis

This is one of the most common types of skin disease. About 80% of people who experience this condition have this type of psoriasis. Physicians may refer to it as “Psoriasis Vulgaris”.

Due to specified areas of bumpy red skin, this type is called plaque psoriasis. Increased red plaques have a silver-white, flaky buildup on top called scale. These scales are composed of dead skin. Check below some regions where this type of psoriasis appears:

  • Feet
  • Hands
  • Knees
  • Face
  • Scalp
  • Skin folds
  • Outside of the elbow


  • Systemic Medicines: Drugs are usually used when a person experiences moderate to severe psoriasis. Physicians prescribe this medicine treatment when other methods are not effective for you.
  • Phototherapy: This treatment uses light. That’s why this procedure is called phototherapy. This treatment option can be done at home or at the physician’s clinic that has a phototherapy unit.
  • Topical Treatment: This type of treatment involves creams and gels applied right to your skin. Wash your hands after each use to avoid getting these creams or gels to your eyes, nose, or mouth. If the irritation lasts, contact a healthcare provider right away.

Guttate Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis usually appears rarely for only 2% of the total skin condition cases. It mostly begins with younger adults or children. In Guttate Psoriasis, you will experience small, pink, or red spots on your skin. Check below the most common regions that may appear in this condition:

  • Trunk
  • Upper arms
  • Thighs
  • Scalp

Usually, the treatment lasts several weeks. However, some severe cases require proper treatment.

Guttate Psoriasis symptoms include:

  • Red or dark pink
  • Small in size
  • Apart from each other
  • On the limbs or trunk
  • Thinner than lesions in plaque psoriasis

Treatment Options

This type of psoriasis may not need treatment it is cured on its own within 15-21 days. In any case, if you experience severe Guttate psoriasis, physicians may prescribe medicines or phototherapy. For example:

  • Cortisone cream for swelling and itching
  • Anti-dandruff shampoos for your scalp
  • Moisturizers
  • Lotions with cold tar that help to calm your skin
  • Vitamin A prescription medicines
  • Corticosteroids, Methotrexate, or Apremilast (in severe cases)

Phototherapy is another way to treat this type of psoriasis. During this treatment, your healthcare professional will use an intense and strong beam of ultraviolet radiation on your skin. In some cases, even sunlight exposure may be beneficial.

Inverse Psoriasis

In this type of psoriasis, red and inflamed lesions appear in the skin folds. In some cases, it is referred to as intertriginous psoriasis. Check below some areas where this disease often appears:

  • Armpits
  • Groin
  • Under the breasts
  • Skin folds around the buttocks or genitals

The most common triggers are sweating, friction, and fungal infections. Symptoms of Inverse Psoriasis include:

  • Bright red, shiny, smooth, and not scaly patches on the skin

Treatment Alternatives

Topical treatment is used in the first-line treatment for this type of psoriasis. You should apply creams or gels to your skin as directed by your healthcare professional. This helps to reduce the inflammation and other discomfort sensations in affected areas. Doctors may prescribe steroid cream for your Inverse Psoriasis. To get a better effect from these medicines, it is advised to use them in the morning after taking a shower and once again before bedtime.

In some circumstances, this type of psoriasis may make you susceptible to yeast and fungal infections. Therefore, your physician may dilute the medicine and prescribe some anti-yeast and antifungal medicines.

Phototherapy involves treatment with UVB rays. These rays help to decrease the growth of the skin cells in some patients. This treatment option may make your symptoms worse before improving them.

Systemic Drugs also may be prescribed by healthcare providers to treat inverse psoriasis.

Pustular Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis occurs in rare cases and mostly in adults. You can experience fluid-filled bumps or blisters surrounded by red skin. Pustular psoriasis may appear as an infectious condition but it is not. Commonly, it appears in one part of the body such as hands or feet. However, in severe cases, it may appear in several parts of the body. If you experience severe Pustular psoriasis, seek medical attention immediately.

Check below some triggers:

  • Pregnancy
  • Emotional stress
  • Infection
  • Excessive ultraviolet radiation without a sunscreen
  • Sudden withdrawal of topical medicine or systemic drugs, especially steroids
  • Exposure to some chemicals

Symptoms of Pustular Psoriasis include:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Muscle weakness

Are Treatments Available for Pustular Psoriasis?

The proper treatment depends on the severity of the condition you are suffering. In some circumstances, it may require a combination of different medicines. Moreover, healthcare providers may prescribe some ointments, creams, or gels to lessen inflammation and soothe your skin.

Another treatment option is PUVA treatment which involves UV light and medicines together. This combination helps to make your skin more sensitive. Check some examples of medicines that your physician may prescribe:

  • Adalimumab, Infliximab, and Etaneercept known as TNF alpha-blockers
  • Methotrexate
  • Cyclosporine
  • Acitretin
  • Oral psoralen plus ultraviolet A light
  • Ustekinumab also known as Interleukin-12/23 inhibitors

Do not self-medicate but consult with a physician because using any drugs for psoriasis without a physician’s approval may lead to unpleasant results.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis is one of the rarest and most dangerous forms of this skin condition. Usually, it negatively affects several parts of the body and the skin looks like it is burnt. Check below some symptoms of this type of skin condition:

  • Intense pain
  • Severe itching
  • Pustules or blisters
  • Burnt-looking skin
  • Fluctuations in body temperature
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Joint pain
  • Chills and fever
  • Swelling of the ankles

There are some triggers for this condition. For example:

  • Emotional stress
  • Alcoholism
  • Severe sunburn
  • Infection
  • Use of systemic drugs
  • Sudden withdrawal of systemic medicines

Physicians usually prescribe medicines to treat this skin condition. Examples include:

  • Cyclosporine
  • Methotrexate
  • Acitretin
  • Infliximab, a medicine used to treat autoimmune diseases
  • Adalimumab
  • Etanercept
  • Ixekizumab
  • Golimumab

Commonly, the drugs listed above are effective against Erythrodermic Psoriasis but may give you certain side effects. Tell your doctor promptly if you experience any adverse reactions.

Nail Psoriasis

This condition usually occurs in people with psoriatic arthritis (a disease that affects joints). In case you experience this type of psoriasis, you will see changes in how your fingernails and toenails appear. For example, your nails may become tender and hurt. Check below some examples of symptoms:

  • Your nails may turn pale, brown, or green. Small white or red spots beneath also may appear.
  • Grooves and ridges in your nails can occur.
  • White material (chalky) can accumulate under your nails.
  • The nail may loosen from the nail bed.
  • About 30% of people who experience nail psoriasis also get fungal infections. This may lead to brittle nails that fall off.

In some circumstances, you may notice pain and tenderness of the nails. Therefore, it may provoke difficulty in performing daily activities.

Treatment Options

Injection and topical medicines are available to treat this type of psoriasis. Check these methods of treatment in detail:

  • Injection forms are put under the surface of your nails every 2-9 months.
  • Topical forms include corticosteroids, retinoids, or Vitamin D creams. These medicines help to lessen the symptoms.

Scalp Psoriasis

This is a common skin disease that makes scaly, red, and inflamed skin on your scalp. This type of psoriasis may spread to the back of the neck, forehead, and inside ears. Symptoms of scalp psoriasis include:

  • Dry scalp
  • Burning or soreness
  • Silvery or white scaly patches
  • Red or bumpy patches
  • Hair loss
  • Dandruff-like flaking

Remember that scalp psoriasis is not linked with hair loss. Scratching, picking at the scaly spots, or stress and harsh treatments may be the factors for hair loss. However, when the skin becomes clear, hair begins to grow.

Furthermore, physicians prescribe drugs such as cold tar, salicylic acid, or clobetasol propionate to treat this type of skin condition. Apply the cream or shampoo to the affected areas on the scalp.

How to Diagnose Psoriasis?

Usually, doctors use a dermatoscope or with the naked eye diagnose this condition. Additionally, your medical history also plays an important role. For example:

  • Recent immunization
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Immunosuppressive condition
  • Recent strep throat infection

In case you consider that you experience psoriasis, you should consult a physician immediately and avoid self-medicating.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is psoriasis a curable condition?

No, this skin disease has no cure but there are a wide variety of effective treatments for psoriasis. Additionally, treating this skin condition may help to decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, depression, psoriatic arthritis, and other diseases. Consult a doctor if you have any questions.

What is psoriasis?

This is a long-lasting autoimmune disease. This condition provokes skin cells to multiply too fast (approximately 10 times). Discuss with a healthcare provider for more details.

Are treatment options available for psoriasis?

Physicians usually prescribe some medicines to treat this skin disease. Examples include:

  • Calcineurin inhibitors
  • Coal tar
  • Anthralin
  • Vitamin D
  • Corticosteroids
  • Retinoids
  • Salicylic acid, and others.

It is not allowed to use any of the treatment options listed above alone without a physician’s recommendation because it may lead to unpleasant results.

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