SKIN & HAIR

What is Skin Psoriasis and How to Effectively Treat Symptoms of Different Types?

Psoriasis causes scaly, itchy, and dry patches on the skin, nails, or scalp

Different psoriasis types include nail, scalp, and skin psoriasis

You can manage psoriasis disease with medications and tips for healthy skin

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
November 30th, 2021
6 mins read

Psoriasis is a skin disease that is caused by an autoimmune condition. This is where your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells. While its symptoms come and go, psoriasis is a lifelong disease that affects approximately 3% of the world’s population [1]. You may confuse diseases like psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis because of similar symptoms. With eczema, you may feel an intense itch. This is less common in psoriasis, where you may also feel a sting or burning sensation. Psoriasis causes scaly, itchy, and dry patches on the skin, nails, or scalp.

Different psoriasis types have slightly varied symptoms and include nail, scalp, or skin psoriasis. It is also possible that you may have more than one. The most common symptoms include red patches on the skin that are dry and itchy. They will usually get worse if you scratch the affected area. You may also experience swelling, stiffness, or pain in the joints.

Read on to know the common psoriasis types and treatments.

Skin psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is one the most common types of psoriasis [2]. Around 80% of people with psoriasis have this type of the disease. Its patches usually occur on:

  • Elbows

  • Knees

  • Lower back

They are usually about 1 to 10 centimeters wide but can be larger and cover more skin. Your doctor may prescribe ointments or medications to help manage these symptoms. In some cases, you can also try light therapies like exposure to UVB and UVA rays.

Additional read: A Guide on Melanoma Skin Cancer: What are the Symptoms and Causes?

Skin Psoriasis

Guttate psoriasis

This is usually triggered by a strep infection. It is more commonly seen in children and adolescents than adults above the age of 30 [3]. The small, red, tear-shaped spots caused by inflammation are commonly present on your arms, legs, or torso. Its treatment options also consist of light therapy and oral medication. The best treatment for your psoriasis will depend on its type and severity.

Pustular psoriasis

Symptoms of this type of psoriasis consists of painful, white, pus-filled bumps surrounded by red or inflamed skin. These appear on your hands and feet and may sometimes cover the entire skin. The pustules may also join together and turn into scales. It is usually treated with prescribed medications and creams as well as light therapy. Treating its underlying cause may also reduce its reoccurrence.

Flexural or inverse psoriasis

Affecting ¼ of all patients, this psoriasis type occurs on skin folds like armpits, breasts, or genital areas. It causes severe pain and itching, worsened by sweat and skin friction. Flexural psoriasis skin is usually smooth, inflamed, red, and not scaly. The moisture from skinfolds keeps this type of psoriasis from shedding skin scales. Treatment includes steroid creams, light therapy, oral medications, or biologics.

Erythrodermic psoriasis

This is a rare psoriasis type where your skin may look like it has a severe burn. It is a serious condition and may need immediate medical attention. You may need hospitalization if your body is not able to control the temperature. Until your symptoms show an improvement, you may be given a combination of treatments. This may include medicated wet towels, biologics, topical steroid creams, or oral medicines.

Nail psoriasis

This is normally seen on fingernails rather than toenails. It may cause soreness and pain that may limit your mobility and impact daily activities. It can also be an indicator of psoriatic arthritis. Its most common symptoms are deformation, thickening, discoloration, or pitting. Treatment for this is the same as plaque psoriasis. It may take time for the effects of these treatments to be visible because nails grow at a slower rate.

Scalp psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis affects more than 60% of the people affected by this skin issue. It is usually seen at the:

  • Hairline

  • Forehead

  • Near or inside the ears

  • Back of the neck

It can be itchy, painful, cause dandruff, and may result in social anxiety in some cases. Scalp psoriasis treatment includes medicated shampoos, application of vitamin D, or steroid creams. Depending on how you respond, your doctor may also include oral medication, light therapy, and biologics as a part of your treatment.

Additional read: Fungal infections: How to prevent and what are the home remedies?

“Is psoriasis curable?” is a frequently asked question. While there is no cure available at this time, you can rely on treatment to reduce irritation, inflammation, and other symptoms. Following skincare tips recommended by your doctor can result in significant healing and in some cases, remission of this disease. It can also reduce the flare-ups you may experience.

To have a better chance of beating this problem, visit your doctor at the earliest. You can book an in-person or a video appointment with the best dermatologists on Bajaj Finserv Health. This way you can get answers to questions and avail treatment for your symptoms at once.

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

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