There is more than one type of psoriasis, and like any other condition there are the good, the bad and the ugly. If you know which one you have then you can go on to treat them accordingly, so here they are:
Also known as psoriasis vulgaris, this is the most common type and is slightly more common in men. They appear as dry, raised, red skin lesions (plaques) covered with silvery scales. The shape is either circular, oval or polycircular (overlapping circles), and their borders are usually well defined. The most often affected areas include the knees, elbows, scalp, and just above the buttocks. This can be confused with eczema or ringworm but is usually confirmed by the Auspitz sign, which is simply the appearance of tiny spots bleeding when the scale is removed.
This type usually affects people under 30 and is usually triggered by a bacterial infection such as strep throat. They come as small, red, drop-like sores on your trunk, arms, legs and scalp. You’ll notice that the sores are covered by a fine scale and luckily they aren’t as thick as typical plaques are. You may have a single outbreak that goes away on its own, or you may have repeated episodes, especially if you have ongoing respiratory infections.
The name pretty much says it all; this type affects the fingernails and toenails, causing ridges or pits, abnormal nail growth and a yellowish discoloration. Psoriatic nails may become loose and separate from the nail bed, and in severe cases the nails may even crumble.
The scalp is the most common place for people with psoriasis to get a rash. The borders of the rash are well-defined and can advance down the neck or in front of the ears. The scales are often very thick and white and they can be tightly attached to the hair. Some people will have only a small area affected, especially on the back of the head or upper neck, while other people may develop a rash covering the entire scalp. It may be difficult to tell the difference between scalp psoriasis and seborrhea (dandruff). However, the treatment is often very similar for both conditions.
Mainly affecting the skin in the armpits, groin, behind the ears, under the breasts and around the genitals. This unusual type causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin without any scale. It’s more common in overweight people and is worsened by friction and sweating.
Now here’s an unpleasant one; this uncommon form of psoriasis can occur in widespread patches or in smaller areas on your hands, feet or fingertips. They appear as pus-filled blisters on top of the tender, red patch on your skin. The blisters dry within a day or two but may reappear every few days or weeks. Sometimes it can be quite painful and cause fever, chills, severe itching and fatigue.
This is the least common type and can cover your entire body with a red, peeling rash that can itch or burn intensely. It may be triggered by severe sunburn or medications. Hospitalization is required for people with this type of psoriasis, as it has the potential to be life threatening, especially in older people.
Now, getting back to the good, the bad and the ugly theory. The good would be the kind that cause scaling over less than 5-10 percent of the body, the bad shows scaling over 10-20 percent of the body and the ugly is considered to be scaling over 20 percent of the body. Not to mention that 5% of psoriasis sufferers develop arthritis which is called Psoriatic Arthritis and consists of inflammation of the skin and the joint, usually accompanied by pain and changes in joint structure. If you fall into any of the psoriasis type descriptions make an appointment as soon as you can for proper evaluation and treatment.