is a persistent and chronic skin disease which has a
tendency to be genetically inherited. The word comes from
ancient Greece, and means "to itch". Red eruptions
appear on the surface of the skin and begin to itch. These
areas form plaques over the reddened lesions. The plaques
resemble multi-layered scales of skin. Psoriasis varies in
intensity from a few random spots to a massive outbreak
covering the entire body and requiring hospitalization.
some cases, psoriasis is so mild that people don't know they
have it. At the opposite extreme, severe psoriasis may cover
large areas of the body. Psoriasis cannot be passed from one
person to another, though it is more likely to occur in
people whose family members have it.
Plaque Psoriasis: The most common
type of psoriasis is called plaque psoriasis. It is
characterized by raised, inflamed (red) lesions covered with
a silvery white scale. The scale is actually a buildup of
dead skin cells. The technical name for plaque psoriasis is
psoriasis vulgaris (vulgaris means common). Plaque psoriasis
may appear on any skin surface, though the knees, elbows,
scalp, and trunk are the most common locations.
Psoriasis: Guttate psoriasis is characterized by small red
dots (or drops) of psoriasis. It often appears on the trunk,
arms and legs. The lesions may have some scale. Guttate
psoriasis frequently appears suddenly following a
streptococcal infection or viral upper respiratory
infections. There are also other events that can precipitate
an attack of guttate psoriasis: tonsillitis, a cold, chicken
pox, immunizations, physical trauma, psychological stress,
illness, and the administration of antimalarial drugs.
Inverse Psoriasis: Inverse psoriasis is localized in the
flexural surfaces of the skin, e.g., armpit, groin, under
the breast, and other skin folds. Typically, it appears as
smooth inflamed lesions without scaling and is particularly
subject to irritation due to rubbing and sweating.
Ordinarily erythrodermic psoriasis appears on
the skin as a widespread reddening and exfoliation of fine
scales, often accompanied by severe itching and pain.
Swelling may also develop.
Pustular Psoriasis: Pustular
psoriasis is characterized by pustules (blister-like lesions
of noninfectious pus) on the skin. The pus consists of white
blood cells in the skin. It is not an infection, and it is
not contagious. It may be localized to certain areas of the
body, e.g., hands and feet, or it can be widespread. It
tends to go in cycles of: 1) erythema (reddening of the
skin), 2) formation of pustules, and 3) scaling of the skin.
Psoriatic Arthritis: About 10 percent of the people who
have psoriasis on their skin also develop a form of
arthritis called psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis
causes inflammation and swelling primarily in the hands,
feet or in larger joints such as the knees, hips, elbows,
and the spine. It may cause stiffness, pain, and joint
Scalp Psoriasis: Scalp psoriasis affects at least
half of all people who have psoriasis. Generally, the scalp
will have plaque psoriasis characterized by elevated,
inflamed, lesions covered with silvery white scales
Psoirasis: Psoriasis can affect both the toenails and
fingernails. Commonly it appears as pits in the nails of
various size, shape, and depth. Sometimes the nails develop
a yellowish color and become thick. The nails may crumble
easily and be surrounded by inflammation. Another possible
symptom is detachment of the nail from the nail bed.