Types of Psoriasis
Of the types of psoriasis that can occur, five are most prevalent. It is a common disease from which about 5.5 million people in the United States suffer. It is not contagious, but research indicates that it passes down within family genetic lines. It is not a contagious disease. It is an autoimmune disease, where cells within one’s body mistake healthy cells for toxins or other dangerous substances.
It usually begins to manifest between the ages of 15 and 35. Typical symptoms of the disease are red, irritated skin with flakes, or patches that usually begin around the elbows, knees, or on the torso. It can also appear on the scalp. It also commonly leads to pink or red skin that is itchy and raised up with dead skin cells or plaques, though some types can lead to other types of skin lesions.
The five most common types of psoriasis each have unique symptoms
- Plaque psoriasis affects nearly 80 percent of the people who suffer from the disease. This type causes thick skin that appears red or pink and also white or silver scales. In the average person, skin cells grow from deep within the skin and come to the surface about once per month. For people who have this condition, that process speeds up and leads to dead skin cells building up on the surface of the skin.
- Inverse psoriasis is a type that manifests in sensitive skin areas like the armpits, groin, buttocks, and other areas where skin folds. This type produces a deep red skin lesion that is both smooth and shiny. It is often more difficult on people who are obese. Because it is located in skin folds, it can often be irritated by friction from rubbing skin.
- Guttate psoriasis often begins to manifest in childhood, or late adolescence or early adulthood. Guttate psoriasis usually manifests suddenly, and can be triggered by a variety of conditions like strep throat, tonsillitis, respiratory infections or injuries to the skin. This type appears as small lesions on the skin that form on the limbs or torso. These lesions are usually individual in nature and can be spread over a wide area. It is common in a treatment for psoriasis - especially Guttate and Plaque where flaking and inflammation are excessive - to compliment therapy with creams, sprays or foams.
- Pustular psoriasis is a type that almost always appears in adults. This psoriasis can be generalized, or one of three separate types. Von Zumbusch psoriasis is a sudden onset variety that creates pustules on the skin after an outbreak, and usually comes in one outbreak after another that can last for weeks. Palmoplantar pustulosis is a variety that creates pustules on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet. Acropustulosis is a rare variety that usually appears on the tips of the fingers, and sometimes on the toes. These are all types that cause skin rashes that are followed by pus sacs on the skin.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis is an inflammatory type that affects large areas of the skin surface. It is usually associated the Von Zumbusch type. This type usually causes shedding of large areas of skin, instead of smaller scales.
Treatments are available for all these types of psoriasis. Psoriasis treatment is designed to manage outbreaks and to prevent infections. They can make the disease more tolerable and control its effects on the person who has it.