Psoriasis: Types and symptoms

Your skin is your largest organ, and it plays a key role in providing a barrier against chemicals, microorganisms, and temperature changes, to name a few. It also helps retain moisture. Skin cells have a life cycle that ranges from 10-60 days depending on various factors, such as your age.

Psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by accelerated turnover of skin cells. This causes skin cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. It’s a chronic skin condition that often comes and goes. The goal of treatment is to slow the turnover of skin cells.

Here at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center in Los Alamitos, California, top rheumatologists Nathaniel Neal, MD, and Rebekah Neal-Kraal, MD, and our team of medical professionals are dedicated to diagnosing and treating autoimmune diseases as well as conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system. If you have psoriasis, our team will work with you to employ the most appropriate treatment to reduce flare-ups and manage your condition, so you can feel and function better.

There are several types of psoriasis, and some people have more than one type. Read on to learn more about three of the most common types of psoriasis and the treatment options that are available.

Plaque psoriasis

Out of the different kinds of psoriasis, plaque psoriasis is the most common. It causes pink patches of skin to develop, which are covered with thick, silvery scales. The patches ― called plaques ― are often itchy and painful. Plaque psoriasis commonly affects the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back. 

Symptoms can include:

Guttate psoriasis

As the second most common type of psoriasis, guttate psoriasis usually develops in childhood or young adulthood. This type of psoriasis leads to the development of small, red, scaly patches of skin. Unlike the thick scaly patches caused by plaque psoriasis, the patches seen in patients with guttate psoriasis are small and thin and shaped like teardrops. Clusters of these patches may appear on the scalp, face, ears, arms, legs, or torso.

Pustular psoriasis

Pustular psoriasis is a less common type of psoriasis. Patients with pustular psoriasis have patches of red, scaly, pus-filled bumps called pustules that erupt before glazing over. There are several types of pustular psoriasis.

One type is called generalized pustular psoriasis, which is rare and requires immediate medical care. It starts with dry, tender skin, and in a matter of hours causes widespread pus-filled blisters to appear. This is often accompanied by fever, chills, muscle weakness, and pain.

Treating psoriasis

After a thorough evaluation, your provider will recommend a treatment plan to reduce inflammation and clear your skin. Treatment may include topical corticosteroids to relieve itching and inflammation. Your provider may also prescribe medications to slow skin cell growth. Furthermore, your provider may recommend special ointments and creams to help you keep your skin moisturized.

If you’re struggling with psoriasis, we can help. For psoriasis diagnosis and treatment, book an appointment online or over the phone with Valerius Medical Group & Research Center today.

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