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Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a disease whose main symptom is gray or silvery flaky patches on the skin which are red and inflamed underneath when scratched. In the United States, it affects 2 to 2.6 percent of the population, or between 5.8 and 7.5 million people. Commonly affected areas include the scalp, elbows, knees, navel, palms, ears and groin. Psoriasis is autoimmune in origin, and is not contagious. Around a quarter of people with psoriasis also suffer from psoriatic arthritis, which is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in its effects.

symptoms of psoriasis

In order to know the symptoms of psoriasis, it is important to have an understanding of the many types of psoriasis. Symptoms of psoriasis differ from type. Here is a complete list of psoriasis symptoms by type:

symptoms of plaque psoriasis

Skin lesions are red at the base and covered by silvery scales.

guttate psoriasis symptoms

Small, drop-shaped lesions appear on the trunk, limbs, and scalp. Guttate psoriasis is most often triggered by upper respiratory infections (for example, a sore throat caused by streptococcal bacteria).

pustular psoriasis symptoms

Blisters of noninfectious pus appear on the skin. Attacks of pustular psoriasis may be triggered by medications, infections, stress, or exposure to certain chemicals.

inverse psoriasis symptoms

Smooth, red patches occur in the folds of the skin near the genitals, under the breasts, or in the armpits. The symptoms may be worsened by friction, sweating and/or the presence of yeast or fungal infections.

erythrodermic psoriasis symptoms

Widespread reddening and exfoliation of the skin that may form the intial outbreak of psoriasis, but is more often the result of exascerbation of unstable plaque psoriasis, particularly under the triggering effect of: abrupt withdrawal of systemic treatment, use of systemic steroids or excessive use of high potency topical steroids corticosteroids (cortisone) or in a koebner response to a widespread allergic reaction or severe sunburn. This form of psoriasis can be genuinely dangerous, since the extreme inflamation and exfoliation interfere with the body's ability to regulate temperature and perform other barrier functions.

psoriatic arthritis symptoms

Joint inflammation that produces symptoms of arthritis in patients who have or will develop psoriasis.

effect on the quality of life

Individuals with psoriasis may experience significant physical discomfort and some disability. Itching and pain can interfere with basic functions, such as self-care, walking, and sleep. Plaques on hands and feet can prevent individuals from working at certain occupations, playing some sports, and caring for family members or a home. The frequency of medical care is costly and can interfere with an employment or school schedule. People with moderate to severe psoriasis may feel self-conscious about their appearance and have a poor self-image that stems from fear of public rejection and psychosexual concerns. Psychological distress can lead to significant depression and social isolation.

causes of psoriasis

Psoriasis is driven by the immune system, especially involving a type of white blood cell called a T cell. Normally, T cells help protect the body against infection and disease. In the case of psoriasis, T cells are put into action by mistake and become so active that they trigger other immune responses, which lead to inflammation and to rapid turnover of skin cells. These cells pile up on the surface of the skin, forming itchy patches or plaques. The first outbreak of psoriasis is often triggered by emotional or mental stress or physical skin injury, but heredity is a major factor as well. In about one-third of the cases, there is a family history of psoriasis. Researchers have studied a large number of families affected by psoriasis and identified genes linked to the disease. (Genes govern every bodily function and determine the inherited traits passed from parent to child.) People with psoriasis may notice that there are times when their skin worsens, then improves. Conditions that may cause flareups include infections, stress, and changes in climate that dry the skin. Also, certain medicines, including lithium and beta blockers, which are prescribed for high blood pressure, may trigger an outbreak or worsen the disease.

Disclaimer: Information shared in this section is indicative. Please do not make any conclusion and we strongly recommend you to consult with your Doctor. Symptoms may vary with individual, geography, climate and lifestyle