This build-up of cells causes scaling on the skin's surface. Inflammation and redness around the scales is fairly common. Typical psoriatic scales are whitish-silver and develop in thick, red patches. Sometimes, these patches will crack and bleed. Psoriasis is the result of a sped-up skin production process. Typically, skin cells grow deep in the skin and slowly rise to the surface. Eventually, they fall off. The typical life cycle of a skin cell is one month. In people with psoriasis, this production process may occur in just a few days. Because of this, skin cells don't have time to fall off. This r0apid, 0overproduction leads to the build-up of skin cells.
Scales typically develop on joints, such elbows and knees. They may develop anywhere on the body, including the hands, feet, neck, scalp, and face. Less common types of psoriasis affect the nails, the mouth, and the area around genitals. Psoriasis affects about 7.5 million Americans. It's commonly associated with several other conditions, including type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, and psoriatic arthritis.
What are the different types of psoriasis?
The 5 types of psoriasis and most common symptoms include:
- Plaque psoriasis:This is the most common type of psoriasis- about 80 percent of people with the condition have plaque psoriasis. It causes red, inflamed patches that cover areas of the skin. These patches are often covered with whitish-silver scales or plaques. These plaques are commonly found on the elbows, knees, and scalp.
- Guttate psoriasis:Guttate psoriasis is common in childhood. This type of psoriasis causes small pink spots. The most common sites for guttate psoriasis include the torso, arms, and legs. These spots are rarely thick or raised like plaque psoriasis.
- Pustular psoriasis:Pustular psoriasis is more common in adults. It causes white, pus-filled blisters and broad areas of red, inflamed skin. Pustular psoriasis is typically localized to smaller areas of the body, such as the hands or feet, but it can be widespread.
- Inverse psoriasis:Inverse psoriasis causes bright areas of red, shiny, inflamed skin. Patches of inverse psoriasis develop under armpits or breasts,in the groin, or around skinfolds in the genitals.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis:This type of psoriasis often covers large sections of the body at once and is very rare. The skin almost appears sunburned. Scales that develop often slough off in large sections or sheets. It's not uncommon for a person with this type of psoriasis to run a fever or become very ill.
What are the symptoms?
Psoriasis symptoms differ from person to person and depend on the type of psoriasis. Areas of psoriasis can be as small as a few flakes on the scalp or elbow, or cover the majority of the body.
The most common symptoms of plaque psoriasis include:
red, raised, inflamed patches of skin
- Silver-white scales or plaques on the red patches.
- Dry skin that may crack and bleed.
- Soreness around patches.
- Itching and burning sensations around patches.
- Thick, pitted nails.
- Painful, swollen joints.
Not every person will experience all of these symptoms. Some people will experience entirely different symptoms if they have a less common type of psoriasis.