Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder that is neither an infection nor a contagious disease. It is characterized by skin inflammations, itching, redness and scaly coverings on skin. There is no particular cure for this autoimmune disease and diagnosis is usually based upon the appearance of skin. Based on the severity and areas affected, psoriasis is broadly classified into 5 main types. There are also subcategories of psoriasis depending upon the location of its occurrence. While it is not yet viable to completely cure psoriasis, treatments are available to reduce its symptoms and appearance depending upon the type of psoriasis.
Type 1: Plaque
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis and occurs in about 85% – 90 % of people affected with psoriasis. It mostly affects young adults and middle aged people. Plaques appear mostly along the scalp, elbows, knees and back. Plaques appear as raised red patches usually covered with silvery scales of dead cells. They can be very painful and itching with frequent cracks, swelling and bleeding. Plaques may range from 0.4 to 4 inches in width and may cover small areas or a large portion of the body.
Type 2: Guttate
This form of psoriasis usually affects children and young adults with no past history of psoriasis. It starts out as a sudden eruption of small scaly tear drop shaped lesions on the torso and limbs. It is the second most common form of psoriasis and about 10% of people with psoriasis are affected by guttate psoriasis. It is often triggered by streptococcal infection skin injury, stress or medications. A short course of treatment can be used to suppress guttate psoriasis for a long time.
Type 3: Inverse psoriasis
The less visible parts of the body like the groin, armpits, buttocks, area under the breasts, genitals and skin folds are the most affected by inverse psoriasis. Most often mistaken to be a fungal or bacterial infection, inverse psoriasis appears as smooth, inflamed patches of skin. The lesions are very red and may appear smooth and shiny. People with inverse psoriasis also suffer from other forms of psoriasis in other places of the body. Many topical treatments have proven effective against inverse psoriasis.
Type 4: Pustular psoriasis
This severe form of psoriasis can be life threatening and forms very quickly with multiple small white colored blisters of noninfectious pus surrounded by red skin. The pus is made up of white blood cells and is non-contagious. Fever and abnormal levels of white blood cells and calcium in the blood are some of the associated symptoms. The blisters may join into larger areas and are frequently seen on the palms and soles. It is often triggered by an infection, abrupt withdrawal of topical treatments, pregnancy and medications.
Type 5: Erythrodermic psoriasis
This is an inflammatory form of psoriasis that often affects most of the body surface. It is very rare and occurs to only about 3 % of people affected with psoriasis. Unstable plaque psoriasis often leads to this type of psoriasis that causes fiery redness and skin exfoliation accompanied by severe itching, pain and swelling. It can be a fatal condition as it disrupts temperature regulation.
Nail psoriasis and scalp psoriasis affects the majority of the psoriasis patients. Nail pitting, groves, discoloration and crumbling of nails are all common manifestations of nail psoriasis.
Severe dandruff and painful noticeable lesions that may extend up to neck, ears and face are some symptoms of scalp psoriasis.
Psoriatic arthritis is a painful condition that affects the joints of about 30 % of psoriasis victims.
Psoriasis patients usually suffer from depression and may need therapies to overcome the emotional issues associated with the painful condition.
** You must talk to your physician to get exact and further details on your condition.