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Symptoms of Psoriasis

When people think of psoriasis, most of them think about the red, scaly rash associated with plaque psoriasis, which is the most common form of the disease. However, there are other types of psoriasis, each type has its own unique sign and symptom. Psoriasis is considered an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is when a body’s natural defense system can’t tell the difference between your normal and foreign cells, causing the body to mistakenly attach normal cells.

Illustration by Verywell – https://www.verywellhealth.com/psoriasis-symptoms-2788277

Psoriasis symptoms are usually called flares. The flares are usually triggered by any amount of everyday things. Some common triggers are:

  • Stress
  • Skin injury, such as a cut or a bad sunburn
  • Infection, such as strep throat
  • Some medications
  • Weather, especially cold, dry weather
  • Tobacco

Psoriasis is common and it is not contagious. It is a life-long disease and it is best to see a Dermatologist so that you can learn to adapt to it for clearer skin. Psoriasis runs in families, if you have a family history of it, you have a higher risk of getting it.

There are 6 main types of Psoriasis:

  • Plaque psoriasis – 80% to 90% of people develop this type. It usually displays as patches of thick, raised skin called plaques. It usually forms either on the scalp, elbows, knees or lower back, but can develop anywhere on the skin.
  • Nail psoriasis – with this type you may notice tiny dents in your nails, crumbling and/or rough nails and white, yellow or brown discoloration under the nails.
  • Guttate psoriasis – this type develops tiny bumps on the skin. You may notice the bumps are usually pink, small and scaly. They tend to be temporary, clearing within a few weeks or months without treatment.
  • Inverse psoriasis – this type usually develops in areas where skin touches skin, such as armpits, genitals and crease of the buttocks. You may notice smooth, red patches of skin that look raw, little, if any, silvery-white coating and sore or painful skin.
  • Pustular psoriasis – causes pus-filled bumps that usually appear only on the feet and hands. You may notice red, swollen skin that is dotted with pus-filled bumps, extremely sore or painful skin, and brown dots appear as the pus-filled bumps dry.
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis – this type requires immediate medical care as it is serious and life-threatening. You may notice skin on most of the body looks burnt, chills or a fever are present and there is muscle weakness, a rapid pulse and severe itch.

When to see a Dermatologist

If you have any of these issues, it is best to schedule with a Dermatologist as they would be the best healthcare provider to make a diagnosis:

  • Psoriasis symptom flares are frequent or worsening
  • Symptoms are spreading
  • Symptoms are causing discomfort or interrupting your quality of life
  • Symptoms are causing embarrassment or distress

References: https://www.verywellhealth.com/psoriasis-symptoms-2788277 and https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis