Psoriasis can manifest itself in a person in a number of ways. The symptoms can be various and differ from person to person. The different types of psoriasis are flexural, plaque, guttate and pustular psoriasis.
The most common form of psoriasis is “Plaque Psoriasis”. 80-90% of the affected people are suffering from plaque psoriasis. It generally manifests itself as raised swollen skin covered with whitish rashes. These are known as plaques.
“Flexural Psoriasis” develops as soft swollen skin patches predominantly found in the folds of the skin. It is generally found in the genital area, the folds under a heavy stomach, armpits and under the breasts. The condition can worsen in case of sweat and abrasion and is extremely prone to fungal infections.
In case of “Guttate Psoriasis” a number of small red, tear shaped, flaky lesions appear on the skin. These patches are generally spread all over the body predominately the stomach. They may also appear on the scalp, hands and legs.
“Pustular Psoriasis” appears in the form of small boils with pus in them. These boils are called pustules. The skin around and below the pustules is very sensitive and reddish in appearance. Pustular Psoriasis can either be restricted to the feet and hands or spread all over the body arbitrarily in form of big patches. When restricted to the feet and hands it is known as “Palmoplantar Pustulosis”.
People may also suffer from “Nail Psoriasis” wherein there is a drastic change in the look of the nails of both hands and feet. These changes may be in the form of discolored nails, cracked nails, nail pitting, thickened skin under the nails, crumbling nails, loose nails etc. Onycholysis is the medical condition when the nails become loose from their base on the fingers.
Psoriasis can also cause “Psoriatic Arthritis”. This condition arises due to the swelling up of the connective tissue and the joints. Although psoriatic arthritis is dominant in the joints of the fingers and toes, it can affect any joint in the body like the hip, knee or spinal cord. Psoriatic arthritis can cause dactylitis i.e. the fingers and toes swell and become shaped like sausages. Psoriatic arthritis can affect the spinal column and cause spondylitis. Amongst the total population suffering from psoriasis approximately 10-15% also get psoriatic arthritis.
Erythrodermic psoriasis causes blistered and swollen skin all over the body. The person affected may also have pain, severe itchiness and inflammation. Erythrodermic psoriasis is generally a case of aggravated plaque psoriasis. It may also happen as a result of sudden discontinuation of treatment. This type of psoriasis can be lethal as it prevents the body from being able to maintain its temperature and attacks the ability of the skin to act as a successful barrier from infections.
There may be different types of Psoriasis. However the symptoms of each type do share many similarities. Irrespective of which body part it affects, psoriasis can be distinguished from any other disease by these clearly identified symptoms.