Your skin is your body’s largest organ, and when you have a chronic condition that affects it, the impact on your life can be significant.
An estimated 7.5 million Americans live with psoriasis, with bothersome skin symptoms that most often appear between ages 45 and 65. Understanding which type of psoriasis you have can help ensure proper treatment, paving the way for lasting relief.
At Northstar Dermatology in Richland Hills, Texas, our expert team of board-certified dermatologists have extensive experience creating personalized treatment plans for psoriasis and do so with skill and compassion.
In this blog post, we explore the different types of psoriasis, including common symptoms and ways we can help.
Types of psoriasis
All cases of psoriasis cause bothersome skin symptoms, such as scaly patches, but many of the specifics depend on the type. Some of the most common types of psoriasis include:
Plaque psoriasis causes raised, red patches covered with scaly, dry skin cells. While these painful or itchy patches can affect any area of your skin, they typically appear on your elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp.
Of the numerous types of psoriasis, plaque psoriasis is the most common.
If you’re experiencing small, red, teardrop-shaped spots of scaly skin, you’re most likely experiencing the effects of guttate psoriasis. The second most common form, it’s most common among kids and adolescents and may be triggered by a strep infection.
Other forms of psoriasis
Somewhat less common forms of psoriasis include:
- Inverse psoriasis, which shows up in body folds, such as your armpits or groin
- Pustular psoriasis, which causes pus-filled blisters surrounded by red skin
- Erythrodermic psoriasis, which causes severe itching and pain over most of your body
- Nail psoriasis, which also causes changes in your fingernails or toenails
- Psoriatic arthritis, in which skin symptoms and joint pain coincide
The particulars of your psoriasis treatment depend on factors such as the type you have, the severity of your symptoms, and your overall health.
For all types, understanding your personal triggers can be important. Common triggers include sunburn, emotional stress, dry or cold weather, skin injuries, and bacterial infections. Medications, such as lithium, can also bring on symptom flare-ups.
In many cases, psoriasis medical treatment is two- to three-pronged, involving:
- Oral medications for moderate to severe symptoms
- Topical therapy, such as moisturizers and medications
- Phototherapy, which uses targeted blue light and laser therapy
You may only need oral medication if other treatments fail to fully help. We can also guide you to incorporate helpful lifestyle practices, such as managing stress and protecting your skin from UV rays, and adjust your treatment plan as needed along the way.