Introduction Causes Symptoms Treatments

Psoriasis is a common skin disorder that produces thick red patches covered with silvery scales. The most common areas affected are the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back, although any skin surface may be involved. It can also occur in the nails and body folds.

Psoriasis is not contagious and cannot be passed from person to person, but it can occur in members of the same family.
The rash of psoriasis goes through cycles of improving and worsening. At times it can be disfiguring, uncomfortable, and even painful.

Psoriasis usually begins in early adulthood or later in life. In most people, the rash is limited to a few areas of skin; in severe cases, it can cover large areas of the body. The rash can heal and come back throughout a person's life.

Types of Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis
Appears as thickened, red scaly lesions called plaques. This is the most common type of psoriasis.

Guttate psoriasis Appears as small, drop-shaped spots on the trunk, limbs, and scalp. This is often triggered by bacterial infections, such as strept throat.

Inverse psoriasis Appears as smooth, red patches in the folds of skin near the genitals, breasts, or armpits.

Erythrodermic psoriasis Appears as a scaly, red, peeling rash that afflicts the entire body. This is an uncommon form.

Pustular psoriasis Appears as pus-filled blisters that can be widespread or localized to the hands or feet. Also uncommon.