Living With Psoriasis

Living With Psoriasis

What Is Psoriasis?

What is Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a common, long-term (chronic) skin disease that usually presents as red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales, small scaling spots, dry, cracked skin that may itch or bleed, as well as burning, soreness, and thickened or ridged nails. There are treatments available to help manage symptoms.


The most common symptoms of psoriasis are as follows:

  • Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales

  • Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)

  • Dry, cracked skin that may bleed or itch

  • Itching, burning or soreness

  • Thickened, pitted or ridged nails

  • Swollen and stiff joints

What are the Symptoms of Psoriasis

Psoriasis can vary in size. It can be a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major breakouts that cover large areas. Most commonly, psoriasis is found on the lower back, elbows, knees, legs, soles of the feet, scalp, face and palms.

What are the different types of Psoriasis?

There are multiple "types" of Psoriasis. They are as follows:

Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque Psoriasis: This is the most common type, also called "Psoriasis Vulgaris."


  • Raised, inflamed, red skin

  • Silvery, white scales

  • Patches may itch or burn

  • Can appear anywhere on body, primarily on elbows, knees, scalp and lower back

Inverse Psoriasis

Inverse Psoriasis: This is when the psoriasis presents with patches of skin that are red, smooth and shiny, but do not have scales. Often triggered by friction, sweating or fungal infections.

Symptoms present in these locations:

  • Armpits

  • Groin

  • Under the Breasts

  • Skin folds around the genitals and buttocks

Pustular Psoriasis

Pustular Psoriasis: This type presents mostly in adults, and causes pus-filled bumps surrounded by red skin. It is not infectious.


  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Nausea

  • Fast Heart Rate

  • Muscle Weakness

Erythrodermic  Psoriasis

Erythrodermic Psoriasis: The least common but most serious type, this affects most of the body and presents as a widespread, "fiery" looking skin that may appear burned.


  • Severe itching, burning, or peeling

  • A faster heart rate

  • Changes in body temperature

Nail Psoriasis

Nail Psoriasis: This is the type that presents on the nails.


  • Pitting of your nails

  • Tender, painful nails

  • Separation of the nail from the bed

  • Color changes (yellow-brown)

  • Chalk-like material under your nails

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis: This is where the psoriasis presents as both psoriasis and arthritis, or joint inflammation. In most cases, people have psoriasis for about 10 years before it develops into psoriatic arthritis.


  • Painful, stiff joints that are worse in the morning and after rest

  • Sausage-like swelling of the fingers and toes

  • Warm joints that may be discolored

Guttate Psoriasis

Guttate Psoriasis: This is a more rare type (2% of cases) and is often found in children and young adults.


  • Small, pink-red spots on the skin

  • Appear primarily on the trunk, upper arms, thighs, scalp

  • Goes away within a few weeks, even without treatment


In short, no. It is not contagious, and touching another person's outbreak will not pass it to you.

Is Psoriasis Contagious


Genetic Causes

GENETICS: Psoriasis is often passed through families, and if you have a direct relative who has it, your chances are higher.

Immune System Causes

IMMUNE SYSTEM: Psoriasis is an autoimmune response where white blood cells mistakenly attack skin cells. The mistaken attack causes skin cell production to go into overdrive, and pushed to the skin's surface, the cells pile up.


According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, there are a number of treatments available:

BIOLOGICS: Biologic drugs are prescribed for moderate to severe psoriasis that has not responded to other treatments.

Biologic Treatments

Systemics: Systemic treatments are drugs taken orally or by injection that work throughout the entire body.

Systemics Treatments

Phototherapy: Phototherapy (light therapy) involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light on a regular basis, under medical supervision.

Phototherapy Treatments

Oral treatments: Oral treatments are available to help inhibit specific molecules often associated with inflammation.

Oral Treatments

Topicals: Most commonly, topical treatments are applied to the skin and are usually the first treatment recommended after a new diagnosis.

Topical Treatments