Psoriasis Symptoms

What Are The Different Psoriasis Symptoms?

There are many psoriasis symptoms. Do you have an annoying skin condition but aren’t sure what it is? Have you ever wondered if your dry, patchy skin is simply dry skin, or is it perhaps something else, like dermatitis, eczema, or perhaps psoriasis? Perhaps you have been told by somebody that you have psoriasis, and you are curious to learn more. Is your dandruff out of control, and you are worried it might be something more?

Well, there are some very basic signs and symptoms of psoriasis to look for, and by reading this page, you may well discover if you have psoriasis or not. The best diagnosis will come from your doctor, but in the meantime, here are some of the most common psoriasis symptoms.

Psoriasis signs and symptoms can vary from person to person but may include:

Dry, cracked skin that may bleed Itching, burning or soreness Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales Small scaling spots (more commonly seen in children) Thickened, pitted or rigid nails Swollen and stiff joints

The Typical Plaques Of Psoriasis

The typical psoriasis patches (otherwise known as plaques) can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas of the body. Mild cases of psoriasis can be nothing more than a temporary nuisance; ranging right up to the more-severe cases which can be painful, disfiguring and disabling.

Most types of psoriasis go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a time or even going into complete remission. In most cases, however, the disease eventually returns.

Mostly, psoriasis is marked by red or pinkish patches of thick, raised, and/or dry skin. The most common areas affected are the scalp, elbows, and knees. Of course, psoriasis is not picky and might affect any area of the body. Psoriasis is more likely to appear where the skin is injured. Areas of trauma, constant rubbing or scratching, and abrasions or scratches can cause flare-ups.

Psoriasis of the scalp will appear to be a severe case of dandruff, with white, flaky skin stuck in the hair or falling on the shoulders. This form can be difficult to hide and can be an embarrassment when it gets out of control.

Psoriasis Can Affect People Differently

Psoriasis can look different depending on each individual person. There can be small bumps or large areas of patchy, raised skin. The area can also have red patches or areas of flaky skin that is easily wiped off. If the small areas of dry skin or picked at or scratched they may start to bleed; this is another sign of psoriasis.

Psoriasis in the genital areas is common too and the area should be dealt with gently. Keep the area clean and don’t pick or scratch at the skin. If the psoriasis shows up in moist areas like the belly button, genitals or between the buttocks, the patches will appear to be simply flat, red patches of skin. These areas can then make the psoriasis appear to be some other infection and overlooked.

Psoriasis Can Affect Fingernails

Psoriasis can also affect the skin under or around the nails. These will appear as small, white spots on the nail or as large, yellowish-brown areas in the nail bed. This type of psoriasis can cause the nails to crack or break easily and, sometimes, cause the nails to fall off. It’s difficult to distinguish between psoriasis affecting the nails and a fungal infection of the nails.

Either way, it does not really matter because the local treatment will be the same. Be sure to read the booklet called Psoriasis And What To Do With Your Skin. You will discover many hints and tips on how to cure psoriasis affecting the nails.

Do You Have Mild, Moderate or Severe Psoriasis?

Mild psoriasis (67% of cases):Affects up to 3% of the body, generally in isolated patches on the knees, elbows, scalp, hands and feet. It can often be controlled with topical therapy. Moderate psoriasis (25% of cases): Affects 3% to 10% of the body’s surface. It often appears on the arms, legs, torso, scalp and other areas. Topical agents, phototherapy, various pharmaceutical drugs may be commonly used. Severe psoriasis (8% of cases):Affects more than 10% of the body and may be extensive with plaques, pustules or erythroderma. Phototherapy, systemic drugs with or without a topical agent, are usually used by many patients with a severe condition to achieve adequate results.

Prevalence of Psoriasis Locations in Patients

Scalp – 80% Elbows – 78% Legs – 74% Knees – 57%
Arms – 54% Trunk – 53% Lower Parts of Body – 47% Base of the Back – 38%
Other – 38% Palms and Soles – 12%

Van De Kerkhof PCM. Clinical features. In: van de Kerkhof PCM, ed. Textbook of Psoriasis. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Science Ltd; 2003:3-29.