The Five Types of Psoriasis
If you have recently developed psoriasis, you may be unaware that not all cases of this disorder are the same. Although they all appear as rashes on the skin which are unsightly to look at and very itchy for those who suffer from them, there are differences between the types of psoriasis, and understanding which type of the condition you have is important when deciding how to go about your treatment plan.
The types of psoriasis not only look different, but also affect different parts of the body and have different biochemical bases. To determine which type you are currently suffering from, look through the descriptions of the five types that are provided below.
Type One: Plaque Psoriasis
The overwhelming majority of cases in the United States are cases of plaque psoriasis. Experts on dermatology believe that around 80 percent of all diagnosed cases fit this description. The most common parts of the human body to develop this disorder are the elbows, lower back, scalp, and knees.
You can identify this variety of the disease by the raised, red patches of skin that it causes. These red patches frequently will develop a thin layer of white or silver scales over the top of them; however, the redness below this top layer is still easily visible. In some instances, plaque psoriasis is caused by a person’s genes. More often, though, it is attributable to one of many possible environmental factors.
Type Two: Guttate Psoriasis
After plaque psoriasis, the next most common type of the disease in the United States is guttate psoriasis. When people have this version of the disorder, the markings are most often visible on their chest, back, and arms or legs. Guttate psoriasis also sometimes affects the face and scalp.
The markings caused by it are small and red, and typically not as dark or raised as those that appear on plaque psoriasis patients. It is possible for this variety to progress into plaque psoriasis if it is not treated expeditiously. Outbreaks are most often seen on people who are in their late childhood or early adulthood. Causes include strep throat, skin injuries, infections, and certain forms of medicine. This form of the disease can be treated quickly and effectively.
Type Three: Inverse Psoriasis
Inverse psoriasis occurs at or on parts of the body where there is skin-on-skin contact. The markings caused by it are bright red and sometimes have a sheen to them. Unlike with other types of the condition, the markings do not appear rough or agitated, but instead are usually quite smooth. The most common places to experience breakouts are under the armpits, in the pelvic region, and underneath the breasts. This form of the disease is treated using one of many different creams or topical ointments.
Type Four: Pustular Psoriasis
This extremely unsightly form is evidenced by raised white pustules that are ringed by areas of bright red skin. These are typically isolated on certain body parts, oftentimes the feet and the hands. But in very severe cases, it is possible for the markings to cover almost the entire body. Those who have this version of the skin condition experience flare-ups followed by periods of low inflammation.
Type Five: Nail Psoriasis
Nail psoriasis is most often seen in patients who are suffering from one of the other forms of the disease. The symptoms are red patches beneath the nails and a thickening of the skin underneath and around the nails. Though this often looks like a fungal infection, it is not and cannot be treated by medicines for fungal infections under nails.
Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.