Psoriasis symptoms will vary based on the type of psoriasis a person has, even though the underlying problem is the same. Each set of symptoms is related to a specific type of psoriasis. These symptoms are all related to an autoimmune disease, and some will be similar. On the whole, however, each set of symptoms will identify a specific type of psoriasis.
Psoriasis is the result of an autoimmune response to stimulus in the body. It is triggered by the body reacting to things like infections, stress, or even skin injuries, though there are many other potential triggers. When triggered, the immune system attacks healthy skin cells and that leads to various types of rashes and skin problems.
Plaque and guttate psoriasis symptoms are similar
Both plaque and guttate psoriasis are similar, with plaque being the most common type, in that they are preceded by a red or pink rash with thicker skin and flaky skin, or scales on the surface. In both types, the body is attacking healthy skin cells on the surface, and speeding up the replacement of them. This leads to the scales on the skin surface that fall off and are replaced rapidly.
The difference between them is that plaque psoriasis affects large areas of skin. Plaque psoriasis creates a large rash, usually around the knees, elbows and the lower back. This rash will be covered in scales, and is usually localized to these areas.
On the other hand, guttate psoriasis can consist of hundreds of small teardrop shaped rashes, each with a small area of skin affected. These individual rashes can spread over a large area of the body, including the face, scalp, neck and ears. It has most of the same properties of plaque psoriasis. The primary differences between the two are the sizes of each one, and what triggers them.
Pustular psoriasis symptoms appear to be completely different, in spite of similarities in what causes it and other forms of psoriasis.
Pustular psoriasis is a group of blisters filled with pus surrounded by red skin. These blisters and the pus contained in them are not infectious. The pus is nothing more than white blood cells, which are the blood cells that the immune system uses to fight infection.
Pustular psoriasis is usually cyclical. First the skin becomes red and irritated, and then the pustules, or blisters, form on the skin. After this, the skin flakes and scales before the process repeats again. In some cases, this can be isolated on the body on the hands, feet, or some other small area. In other cases, this can happen all over the body or in large areas on the surface of the skin.
Erythrodermic psoriasis is usually associated with pustular psoriasis, specifically the Von Zumbrusch type of pustular psoriasis. In this type, instead of small scales of skin, large sheets of skin can peel away. The skin becomes bright red before the peeling begins.
While most psoriasis is uncomfortable, it is not generally life threatening. The Von Zumbrusch variety of pustular psoriasis can be life threatening and should be treated medically as soon as possible. The only way to accurately diagnose psoriasis and understand its causes is with the help of a medical professional. If you are suffering from recurring skin rashes, seeking out medical attention to get an accurate diagnosis is important to develop a good treatment plan.
Scales, scaly skin
Raised, inflammed patches
Scabbing, peeling, and sores
Wide spread pustules or blistering
Chronic irritation and itchiness
Localized on the back, legs, genitals, neck and behind ears, under arms, scalp, elbows and knees
dry, cracking skin