What is Psoriasis disease? It’s not just flaky skin

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease. Its characteristics include red, itchy patches on parts of the body. The most common areas include the scalp, elbows and knees. Not only it affects the skin, but the joints as well, in some cases.

Genetically determined, it is not contagious. Studies estimated that 2%-3% of the world population have psoriasis. 

Besides itchiness, those with psoriasis disease experience pain, discomfort, and bleeding due to chronically dry and cracked skin. The affected areas are covered by silver-coloured scales.

There are seven forms of psoriasis

Plaque Psoriasis

It is the most common form of psoriasis. 80%-90% of psoriasis sufferers have this. 

Psoriatic Arthritis

Similar to arthritis, this form causes painful and swollen joints. Up to 50% of psoriasis patience develop this type of psoriasis.

Nail Psoriasis

When the nails on the finger or toes are affected, it is the case of Nail Psoriasis. The nails may have discolourisation where they turn yellow, white or brown. Thickening happens because of a fungal infection. Pain occurs due to debris buildup under the nail, causing the nail to be lifted, separated from the skin.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Next, this is an aggressive form of psoriasis. It affects more than 80% of the body area. This form can be life-threatening as it may alter the function of the skin. Other symptoms of Erythrodermic Psoriasis include chills, fever, joint pain and swelling.

Guttate Psoriasis

About 8% of psoriasis sufferers develop Guttate Psoriasis. It appears as small, round spots that are raised and scaly. Spots and scars are easier to clear up compared to Plaque Psoriasis because they are not very thick.

Pustular Psoriasis

Characterised by white bumps filled with pus surrounded by flame-red skin. The pus is not an infection for it is merely filled with white blood cells. It may be painful to some. Some may also develop Erythrodermic Psoriasis due to this.

Last but not least, Inverse Psoriasis

Also known as Intertriginous Psoriasis, it affects the folds of the skin:

  • Armpits
  • Under the breasts
  • Groin
  • Between the buttocks

It can lead to infection because of rubbing and sweating between the folds.  Unlike the other forms of psoriasis, this has no scales. Affected areas appear shiny and smooth due to the moist environment.

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