Psoriasis is a very common autoimmune disease that mainly affects the skin. In the UK, up to 1.8 million people have been suffering from psoriasis. It is a chronic skin disease of the skin that affects men and women equally. The symptoms of this skin disorder vary based on the types, but typical psoriasis appears red elevated patches with a silvery, scaly coating of skin that generally burns, itches and pains. These patches take from a few days to more than a month to fade.
Low self-esteem, depression, and stress are common to people with psoriasis. Around one-third of people suffering from psoriasis experience depression and anxiety.
There are different types of psoriasis and it is vital to identify the type of psoriasis you have for getting the right treatment. Generally, people have one type at a time, but sometimes, it may happen that one person could have more than one type.
Here Are The 7 Different Types of Psoriasis
1. Plaque Psoriasis
It is the most common form of psoriasis. Nearly 90 percent people living with psoriasis have plaques. Physicians call it “Psoriasis Vulgaris”. In this type of skin condition, red small scaling bumps covered with silvery white scales show up on the skin. These patches are generally 1 to 10 centimetres wide, but sometimes can be large and may many parts of the body. It mainly affects the lower back, knees, trunk, scalp, and elbows of the sufferer, but can appear on any part of the body.
One should not scratch the raised scales as it may worsen the symptoms. A doctor will first advise you to apply ointment-based moisturizer so that the patch does not become too dry. A specialist will also try to find the psoriasis triggers. If you have inflammation, a doctor will give topical retinoids to reduce it. Light therapy has also been used in some cases in which skin is exposed to both UVB and UVA radiations.
2. Erythrodermic Psoriasis
Unlike plaque psoriasis, this is the least common form of psoriasis that looks like severe burns. It covers a very large portion of the body and becomes scaly, inflamed, and a painful red rash. Sometimes this rare skin disorder accompanied by uncontrolled body temperature. The other symptoms include faster heart rate, severe burning sensations, and itching. This type of psoriasis develops from extreme sunburn or another type of psoriasis that is not properly treated. This is a serious skin condition that needs immediate medical attention as it may result in fluid and protein loss, congestive heart failure or pneumonia.
Erythrodermic psoriasis is mainly the result of uncontrolled psoriasis. A doctor may first stop your systematic psoriasis treatment and recommend you cortisone, lithium, antimalarial drugs or strong coal tar products. You may be advised to be hospitalized. At the hospital, doctors may give several therapies that include medications, wet dressing to treat your disease effectively.
3. Nail Psoriasis
As its name suggests, this type of psoriasis affects fingernails and toenails. In most of the cases, people who have nail psoriasis also have common skin psoriasis. Also, around 10 to 25 percent of people who have skin psoriasis also suffer from psoriatic arthritis, a health problem in which people have swelling in both the joints. This skin disease results in the nail discolouration. A white area may develop under the nail that seems like a drop of oil. Because of the unhealthy inner structure, the nail may start to crumble or separate from its base or starts to crumble. Inflammation of the skin around the nail edges or fungal infection (onychomycosis) may also cause nail psoriasis.
Medications for the patients of nail psoriasis are like the ones used for plaque psoriasis. Oral medicines such as methotrexate are given to the patient. A doctor also suggests light therapy and biologic via intravenous infusion or injection to treat the disease.
4. Guttate Psoriasis
It is the second most common type of psoriasis. Guttate psoriasis is a small, salmon-pink (or red) water drop like lesions on the skin that mainly occur in children and adults under the age of 30. Almost 10 percent of people are living with this skin condition. It mostly appears on scalp, legs, upper arms, trunk, or thighs. They are not wide and thick like plaque psoriasis, but they can appear like plaque psoriasis over time. People who have an upper respiratory tract infection or a cold are more prone to get guttate psoriasis. Stress, strep throat, and skin injury are major triggers of guttate psoriasis
Guttate psoriasis often go away in a few weeks without any treatment. However, sometimes they can be more persistent and require quick treatment. If the condition occurs because of bacterial infection, antibiotics are given to the sufferer. The doctor also suggests oral medications, steroid ointments, and phototherapy to the patient.
5. Psoriatic Arthritis
People who are living with psoriasis for more than 5 to 10 years are vulnerable to psoriatic arthritis. It is an unfortunate situation in which a person suffers from both psoriasis and inflammatory arthritis. Around 30 percent people with psoriasis have psoriatic arthritis. People with this health condition experience joint pain and stiffness, mainly in the morning and after rest. In 90 percent of cases, people with psoriatic arthritis have nail changes. As psoriatic arthritis is not as destructive and deforming form as other types of arthritis, it should be managed to lessen stiffness and pain.
Doctors prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as naproxen sodium (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil) to patients for reducing inflammation and pain associated with the disease. Other prescription pills such as an oral corticosteroid or topical medications include tazarotene, calcipotriene, and salicylic acid are helpful to reduce swelling and joint damage.
6. Inverse psoriasis
It is also known as seborrheic psoriasis that develops as a very bright, smooth and shiny red patch of skin. However, it does not have silvery, white scales. Inverse psoriasis is mainly found in the skin folds, such as the groin, near the genitals, under the breasts, in the armpits, around the buttocks or in abdominal folds. Overweight people are more prone to inverse psoriasis. It may worsen with friction and sweating. A fungal growth may also trigger the skin lesions of psoriasis.
Topical steroid ointments and creams such as tacrolimus, topical retinoids, corticosteroids, or anthralin are used to diagnose and treat inverse psoriasis. Your doctor may also prescribe you light therapy and some oral medications. Most of the times, the irritated areas are attacked by fungus and Bacteria. Therefore, medications are given to reduce yeast and bacterial growth
7. Pustular psoriasis
Unlike plaque type psoriasis, a pustular psoriasis is an uncommon form of psoriasis that causes raised white blisters on the skin. The skin surrounding these pus-filled bumps is reddish. Sometimes it covers the entire skin and accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, rapid heart rate, fever, chills, and severe itching. Pregnancy, stress, getting too much of UV rays without using sunscreen and exposure to certain chemicals are the prime triggers of pustular psoriasis.
Strong topic steroid ointments and creams have been given to the patients. If the affected area is small, corticosteroid creams or prescription is provided to the patient. If the skin disease has spread to a large area, light therapy and some oral medications may help reduce the reoccurrence of pustular psoriasis.
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of more than one type of psoriasis, it is advised to discuss it with the doctor immediately.