UNDERSTANDING PSORIASIS: TYPES AND SYMPTOMS
Psoriasis is a skin condition that manifests itself in red, scaly, itchy patches that usually result from skin cells’ rapid multiplication. It is this rapid multiplication of skin cells that causes the scales on the skin surface. Usually, the skin cells grow in the deep skin and then appear slowly on the surface and eventually fall off. The production process of skin cells takes around one month. For people with psoriasis, skin cells’ production takes place rapidly, like in a few days; therefore, they don’t have time to fall off. That results in the build-up of skin cells on the skin surface, causing scaling. They mostly appear on the knees, elbows, scalp, and trunk.
Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that tends to manifest in phases appearing continuously in weeks or months, then disappearing for a while before coming back, including going into remission. However, the condition is manageable through different types of psoriasis medication, depending on its type.
Symptoms of psoriasis
- Red patches on the skin covered in silvery-whitish patches.
- Dry, itchy scaling skin.
- Itching, soreness, or burning.
- Ridged nails.
- Stiff or swollen joints
Types of psoriasis
There are different types of psoriasis, as further explained below.
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type. It affects about 80% of the people with the condition. It manifests in the form of dry, red, inflamed patches that have silver-whitish scales or plaques on the skin’s surface. The scales can be itchy or tender and can even bleed due to scratching. They mostly appear on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.
Inverse psoriasis mainly affects skin folds such as breasts, buttocks, and the groin area. It appears as smooth, inflamed patches of red skin that worsen with friction. They are itchy and can also be caused by fungal infections.
This type of psoriasis is widespread among children and young adults. It is mostly caused by a bacterial infection like strep throat and appears as small pink lesions on the arms, trunk, or legs.
Nail psoriasis affects the nails. It can be fingernails or toenails, and it causes discoloration, pitting, or unusual nail growth. It causes the loosening of the nails from the nail bed, and in severe cases, they may crumble.
Pustular psoriasis occurs in the form of pus-filled lesions appearing in broad red, inflamed skin areas. It is more common in adults and manifests in smaller parts of the body like the feet and hands. However, it can be widespread in some cases.
It is severe psoriasis that covers the whole body as red peeling rashes that appear almost like sunburns. It comes with intense itches, and the skin can burn intensely. People with this type of psoriasis are most likely to experience fever or get severely ill.
Psoriatic arthritis is characterized by swollen and painful joints, just like the symptoms of arthritis. It can affect any joint and sometimes the nails. In most cases, the joints are the first to show signs of psoriasis as it causes stiffness and gradual joint damage.
If you suspect you have psoriasis, do not panic. The symptoms are manageable through medication and clinically tested skincare products to protect the skin. Make a point of seeing a dermatologist who will help you manage the condition.