Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition known for causing itchy, painful plaques on your skin. In addition to physical discomfort, psoriasis can take a toll on your overall wellness, self-esteem, and quality of life.
Thankfully, psoriasis treatments can go a long way toward minimizing your symptoms, helping to restore your emotional well-being and improve your daily life.
At Northstar Dermatology in Fort Worth, Texas, our compassionate, board-certified dermatologists develop customized treatments for all forms of psoriasis. Read on for an overview of these types, as well as effective ways to find relief.
Types of psoriasis
Knowing which type of psoriasis you have is the key to getting appropriate treatment. The five official types include:
The most common form, plaque psoriasis causes red, raised, scaly patches that feel painful and itchy. These patches, which usually show up on your elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp, often crack and bleed.
Guttate psoriasis is the second most common form and is marked by small, red lesions. While most anyone can experience it, guttate psoriasis often occurs during childhood or adolescence after a strep infection.
A bit less common, pustular psoriasis causes white bumps or red blisters known as pustules on the skin. These pustules are filled with pus and usually appear on the palms of your hands, on soles of your feet, and on your fingers and toes.
Inverse psoriasis affects the folds of your skin, such as your armpits, under your breasts, behind your knees, and in your groin area. Symptoms crop up as red, shiny patches. As a result of their location, you may be prone to irritation from sweating, bacterial or fungal infections, and sexual discomfort.
Erythrodermic psoriasis is a rare form of psoriasis that causes fiery red, scaly skin over your whole body. Large pieces of your skin can peel off, and you may experience pus-filled blisters.
Erythrodermic psoriasis can also cause chills, fever, joint pain, a rapid heartbeat, and swollen ankles. Left unmanaged, this form of psoriasis can throw off your body temperature, moisture control, and ability to keep toxins out, potentially becoming life-threatening.
Psoriasis treatment varies, depending on the specifics of your condition and your overall health.
The process starts with a complete review of your medical history and a comprehensive exam. From there, we at Northstar Dermatology help you identify your triggers and create a plan to help you avoid flare-ups. Your treatment plan may also include:
- Topical moisturizers and medications for reduced itching and plaque buildup
- Oral, anti-inflammatory medications for symptoms that don’t respond to other treatments
- Phototherapy, which uses blue light and laser therapy to target and minimize symptoms