Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can occur on any part of the body. The disease is the result of faulty messages sent by the immune system that expedite skin cell growth. Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disorder in the United States, affecting approximately 7.5 million Americans. The disease is not contagious, but could be linked to serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and depression.
Psoriasis can appear in a variety of forms, each with unique and distinct characteristics. Listed below are the five most common forms of the disease.
Plaque Psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris)
The most common form of the disease, plaque psoriasis affects the skin in the form of raised, red patches and dead skin cell build-up. Most commonly, plaque psoriasis shows up on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back. Plaque psoriasis can be very painful and itchy, causing cracking and bleeding of the skin.
Guttate Psoriasis often begins in childhood or young adulthood. This form of psoriasis typically appears in small, separated, red dots on the skin. There can often be hundreds of the dots, and they most frequently appear on the torso, arms, and legs.
Inverse Psoriasis (intertriginous psoriasis)
Inverse psoriasis appears as very red lesions found in body folds, and often has a smooth and shiny appearance. This form of psoriasis is particularly susceptible to irritation due to rubbing and sweating, and is most commonly found in people who are overweight, and in people with deep skin folds.
Pustular psoriasis is characterized by white pustules surrounded by red skin. Pustular Psoriasis is not an infection, and the pus is made up of white skin cells. This form of psoriasis is most commonly seen in adults, and is generally limited to one area of the body, such as the hands or feet.
This form of the disease is very rare, occurring once or more during the lifetime of about 3 percent of people affected by psoriasis. Widespread redness and inflammation characterize this form of psoriasis, and severe itching and pain often accompany it.
Psoriasis is inherited by approximately 10 percent of the population, however only 2-3 percent will develop the disease. There are several medicines that can trigger psoriasis, as well as stress, and injury to skin. Learn more about potential triggers at https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/causes
Treatment of psoriasis is very important and crucial to maintaining a healthy immune system. There are a variety of treatments that can reduce and eliminate your type of psoriasis, and working together with a doctor will help you determine what option is best for you. Becoming educated about the different treatment options, along with trial and error, will eventually help you learn which regimen is best for your condition.