The National Psoriasis Foundation identifies five official types of psoriasis. Seven and a half million people in the U.S. suffer from some type. There are also subcategories, which may appear differently according to the place they are located on the body. The five types of psoriasis are guttate, plaque, pustular, inverse and erythrodermic.
Guttate psoriasis looks like small, red dots on the skin’s surface. It is the most common after plaque psoriasis. The spots are typically seen on the limbs and torso, but they may appear on the scalp and face. They are thinner than plaque psoriasis, but they may gradually develop into plaque psoriasis.
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type and is seen on about 80 percent of psoriasis sufferers. It most often occurs on the elbows, lower back, knees and scalp. It has thick, red patches of skin that have a white or silver layer on the top.
Also called flexural psoriasis, this type most often appears in the folds of skin, such as under the breasts or in the groin or armpits. It looks smooth, red and shiny, and people with this type of psoriasis may have a different type on another part of their body. Because this type is always in skin folds, it does not shed scales, and the rubbing of the skin folds may cause irritation. Several topical creams and ointments are very effective for this type of psoriasis.
Pustular psoriasis has white pustules that are surrounded by red skin. The pus inside the pustule is not infectious, which means it will not transfer the psoriasis to another person. Scales do flake off the pustules.
There are three types of pustular psoriasis, including acropustulosis, von Zumbusch and palmoplantar pustulosis. The three different types have different symptoms and severity. Pustular psoriasis is usually seen on the hands and feet. It may cover most of the skin’s surface. In some cases, it has cycles of pustules and remission.
This is the rarest form of psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. It looks like severe burns and may spread to large areas on the body. It usually sheds in large sections and can be very painful. It can develop along with plaque psoriasis, if it is not properly treated and with pustular psoriasis. It may also be caused by severe sunburn, alcoholism, infection, significant stress or if a psoriasis medication is abruptly stopped.
Other categories of psoriasis are:
• Nail psoriasis is not an official category, but it affects 50 percent of psoriasis sufferers
• Scalp psoriasis may be painful and itchy and can result in hair loss if not treated
• Arthritic psoriasis may cause pain in the joints and though there is no cure, we may be able to help achieve remission with treatments and exercises
If you or someone you know is suffering from psoriasis, Doctor’s Approach may be able to help. We have locations in Okemos, Carson City and St. Johns. During a consultation with our specialist, you can learn about different treatments and how you may be able to reduce the pain and appearance of psoriasis. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.