Psoriasis is a common and chronic disease caused by an autoimmune disorder. The patient has a hyperactive immune system that is attacking their skin and, sometimes, other parts of the body.
The disease can range in severity. A patient is said to have a mild case if the condition affects less than three percent of their body. They have a moderate case if it affects between three and ten percent of their body, and they have a severe case if it affects over ten percent of their body.
Are There Different Types?
Yes. Plaque psoriasis is by far the most common type and affects over 80 percent of patients. The patient develops red, raised patches of skin covered with silvery scales. The patches can crack and bleed, and they are often painful and itchy. While the patches can appear anywhere on the patient’s body, they are most likely to develop on the scalp, elbows, lower back, and knees.
Guttate affects roughly ten percent of patients. Unlike other types that affect mainly teenagers and adults, guttate psoriasis often affects children. It can sometimes be triggered by a strep infection. The patient develops a multitude of small, pink, scaly spots on their arms, legs, and torso.
In the pustular type, the patient develops reddened and tender skin covered with white bumps filled with pus. This usually affects the hands and feet, but it can spread to other parts of the body and become generalized pustular psoriasis. A patient with the generalized type may also suffer fever, chills, diarrhea, and severe itching.
Inverse psoriasis causes smooth and bright red patches of tender skin. It only develops in places where skin touches skin, such as under the arms or underneath the breasts. It is most likely to affect heavy patients.
The erythrodermic type is mercifully the least common type, for it can be life-threatening. The patient’s skin turns bright red over much of the patient’s body, and it can fall off in sheets. The patient can become dehydrated and suffer chills and fever.
Patients with psoriasis can eventually develop more than one type, or one kind can turn into another. Uncontrolled plaque psoriasis can, for example, turn into the erythrodermic type.
The disease can also affect the nails, especially if it is severe or if the patient has had it for a long time. Symptoms in the nails can include pits in the nails, discoloration, crumbling, or peeling away from the nail.
What is Psoriatic Arthritis?
Psoriasis can also attack the joints. Roughly a third of patients will, thus, develop psoriatic arthritis. In the majority of cases, patients develop the skin problems before developing arthritis. One type of psoriatic arthritis can gradually turn into another type.
Learn About Your Treatment Options
To learn more about psoriasis and the available treatments, schedule an appointment at the office of Ingrid E. Trenkle, MD. We have offices located in Sun City and Redlands. Contact us today to book a consultation!