Having red, itchy and fiery skin can be some of the worst pain a person can endure. Each of these is a telltale symptom of psoriasis, a skin condition that can drive a person crazy. The condition is common enough that the general population is aware of it, but what most people don’t know is that there isn’t just one kind of psoriasis.
The different kinds tend to look and feel the same, but where the itchy skin is located and what other parts of the body are affected, can be clues to what kind of this condition you have, and how it should be treated.
Here are the various kinds of psoriasis, and how to identify each one:
- Plaque: This is the most common form of psoriasis and consists of dry, red, blotchy and itchy skin. The itching is often painful and can appear anywhere on the body. It is also possible to have multiple patches on different areas of your body at the same time.
- Nail: Psoriasis can affect both the fingernails and toenails. Rather than being red and itchy, the nails look pitted, discolored and could be growing abnormally. If left untreated, the nail could crumble and fall away.
- Scalp: This form appears on the head and results in dry, flaky skin in the hair and along the scalp line. There is potential for this type of psoriasis to extend beyond the hairline and onto the face and neck.
- Guttate: Affecting mostly children and young adults, this is most often spurned by a bacterial infection such as strep throat. You will see small teardrop-shaped sores around the body that are itchy and dry, but don’t hurt or burn nearly as much. This is one of the few types of psoriasis that will go away on its own.
- Inverse: This is located mostly in the armpits and groin and results in larger, smoother red patches. This could also be caused by bacterial or fungal infections.
- Pustular: A rare form of this condition which features pus-filled sores on top of the dry, itchy skin. This type will spread quickly around the body and also features other side effects such as fever, chills, restlessness and more.
- Erythrodermic: Thankfully, this condition is rare types because its symptoms are so severe. Red, blotchy, itchy and burning skin will appear over the entire body and peel constantly.
- Psoriatic Arthritis: If your psoriasis also features painful joints in addition to itchy skin and pitted nails, you may have psoriatic arthritis. This diagnosis is considered a mild form of arthritis, but includes all the symptoms of psoriasis as well.
There is no such thing as a comfortable form of psoriasis, and there is no cure for psoriasis, but thankfully there are some wonderful treatment options out there that range from topical creams and ointments to injectables and oral pills.
If you’re noticing any of the symptoms of psoriasis, contact the Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center immediately.