Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes skin cells to grow faster than normal. It can be triggered by any disease that overwhelms the immune system. According to Healthline, around 4 million people in the US alone suffer from this condition.
Usually, people contract one type of psoriasis, but it’s not uncommon for the disease to change into a different type over time. These changes can be caused by stress or other illnesses. You can contract psoriasis at any age, but according to the WHO, it is most common in the 50-69 age group. Psoriasis is very painful and there is no known cure. However, with the help of medication, you can manage its symptoms and improve the quality of your life.
The five most common types of psoriasis include guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, plaque psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis, and plaque psoriasis.
Plaque psoriasis: the most prevalent type of psoriasis to date. It’s estimated that 80 percent of people with psoriasis suffer from plaque psoriasis. The first symptom of plaque psoriasis is red bumps on the skin that often have a shiny, white and flaky. The patches on the skin are usually called plaques, hence the name plaque psoriasis.
Plaques can appear isolated on some parts of the body or they can fuse to cover larger areas on the body. Plaques psoriasis rarely appears on the face. Plaques typically cover areas of the body where the skin rubs together or stretches, like elbows and knees. But plaques can appear on any part of the body like the scalp or lower back. The plaques are difficult to get rid of, but they can disappear over time with the proper treatment. However, plaque eruptions are likely to re-emerge due to stress or other medical conditions.
Guttate psoriasis: usually affects children and teenagers. The symptoms of guttate psoriasis include small red spots on the torso or limbs. This is the only form of psoriasis that appears as an acute condition and doesn’t require medication. Guttate psoriasis appears due to bacterial infections like strep throat. If the underlying cause of the disease is treated, guttate psoriasis symptoms will likely disappear.
Pustular psoriasis: one of the rarest forms of psoriasis. Symptoms of pustular psoriasis include red and itchy skin that quickly progresses to white blisters filled with pus. The pus contains white blood cells and isn’t contagious. Typically, eruptions of blisters on the skin appear in waves. Pustular psoriasis usually affects adults and blisters can appear on any part of the body.
The most common place for these blisters is on the palms and soles of feet. In this case, the disease is called Palmoplantar pustulosis. People who suffer from this form of psoriasis usually have to be hospitalized to get the proper treatment. Outbreaks are usually triggered by hormonal changes, streptococcal bacteria, and the use of products containing cortisone.
Erythrodermic psoriasis: can appear as an isolated condition, or in combination with pustular psoriasis. This form of psoriasis has intense symptoms that include scaly, red and inflamed skin. The patients suffering from erythrodermic psoriasis often look like victims of severe burns. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, this is one of the least common types of psoriasis and it affects only 3 percent of psoriasis patients.
The skin rashes can appear all over the body in very large patches. Sometimes, the rash can even cover the whole body. The skin inflammation can render the body unable to regulate temperature, which can be fatal. That’s why this form of psoriasis needs immediate medical attention and hospitalization.
Out of all the types of psoriasis known, this one is the most painful. It can also have severe symptoms like high fever and dehydration. The treatment for erythrodermic psoriasis is typically a combination of medication and skin creams.
Inverse psoriasis: usually affects parts of the body that have skin folds. It can appear in places like armpits, groin or under breasts. This form of psoriasis can also occur in the skin folds of obese patients, due to irritation caused by perspiration or friction. The skin outbreaks are different from other types of psoriasis because they don’t flake. The inflamed patches of skin are red, smooth and shiny.
This type of psoriasis can easily be misdiagnosed as a yeast infection due to the areas of the body it affects. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, this type of psoriasis is difficult to treat due to the sensitivity of the affected skin, but symptoms can be managed using steroid creams.
- “Types of Psoriasis,” Healthline,
- “Global report on Psoriasis,” World Health Organization,
- “Erythrodermic Psoriasis,” National Psoriasis Foundation,
- “Inverse Psoriasis,” National Psoriasis Foundation,