April 16, 2014
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Psoriasis

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Psoriasis symptoms

There are different types of psoriasis. Psoriasis is characterized by lesions on the skin. Often, the lesions appear symmetrically (the same place on both sides of the body). The lesions can be painful and itchy. Depending on the type of psoriasis, the lesions can appear different and vary in size:

  • Plaque psoriasis lesions are usually well-defined, red, raised plaques covered with silvery, shiny scales. The lesions may appear anywhere but are usually found on the knees, elbows, scalp (scalp psoriasis), and torso. They can also be found on skin folds, nails (nail psoriasis), face, palms, and soles of the feet. Nail psoriasis symptoms include thickened, discoloured, pitted, and splintered nails.
  • Guttate psoriasis lesions are small and drop-like. They typically appear on the trunk, face, or limbs.
  • Pustular psoriasis lesions are red and pus-filled, with scales that gradually form as the pustular lesions dry up. Pustular psoriasis often appears on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet; although it can appear widespread throughout the body (called generalized pustular psoriasis).
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis lesions look like a sunburn and are red, inflammatory patches that often cover 90% or more of the skin.
  • Inverse psoriasis lesions are smooth and red and tend to occur in skin folds where there tends to be friction, moisture, or pressure (e.g., armpits, under breasts, buttocks, genitals).

Psoriasis symptoms can be severe. Plaque psoriasis is considered severe when 10% or more of the body is affected.

It is important to know the severity of your psoriasis in order to choose your best treatment option. To find out more about psoriasis severity, use the Psoriasis Severity Calculator.

About 30% of the time, people with psoriasis also suffer from a type of arthritis (joint inflammation, pain, and stiffness) called psoriatic arthritis.

When you have psoriasis, you will always have it, but symptoms can flare up and then disappear for periods of time. Symptoms range from mild to severe.

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