Common Types of Psoriasis

  • Plaque psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris)
  • Inverse – appears in the groin, armpits back of knee and other skin folds
  • Erythrodermic – strong redness over large areas of the body
  • Guttate – red spots on the skin
  • Pustular – reddened skin surrounded by white blistering

Plaque Psoriasis

Psoriasis in its most common form shows as plaque, which affects some 80% of all sufferers, reveals itself as raised, reddened lesions covered in scale. Although it may appear anywhere, it usually occurs on the scalp, elbows, knees and back as small red spots which grow into the characteristic plaque patches. These then develop scale which is constantly produced and dropped.

Psoriasis frequently produces itching, skin cracking and pain and the skin becomes dry.

Inverse Psoriasis

Inverse psoriasis is found in the skin folds, such as armpits, groin and around the buttocks. This type of psoriasis is most common in those who are overweight and who have deep skin folds. Due to the locations of affected skin, irritation is often increased by sweating and rubbing. This type of psoriasis shows up as very red lesions and may appear shiny and smooth.

Treatment can be difficult due to the areas afflicted being sensitive. Steroid creams are the most common treatment, but the use of steroids can result in side effects.

Topical application can also be effective on inverse psoriasis, although some people have success with over the counter preparations which dry out moist lesions.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Erythrodermic psoriasis is a particularly severe form of psoriasis which can develop following an outbreak of plaque psoriasis. It appears as a fiery red inflammation of the skin, which then will shed. This is often a severely painful and itchy process. 

This is a severe condition, and visiting a doctor is recommended as soon as symptoms appear. Erythrodermic psoriasis can cause protein and fluid loss which can lead to more serious illnesses. Severe cases are often hospitalised. 

Triggers for an episode of this type of psoriasis include abrupt withdrawal of systemic treatments, the use of systemic steroids, an allergic rash at the site of skin trauma or severe sunburn.

Treatment would usually involve topical application of mid-strength steroids and moisturisers. Sufferers would be encouraged to use wet dressings, take oatmeal baths and plenty of rest, making sure they keep up a good fluid intake.




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