There are several types of pustular psoriasis and they are all treatable.
Pustular psoriasis is a type of psoriasis; there are several types of pustular psoriasis including Von Zumbusch, palmoplantar, and acropustulosis.
Psoriasis is called an autoimmune disease because it occurs when T-cells that usually fight viruses and bacteria in the body attack healthy cells instead. The T-cells also join with neutrophils (white blood cells) to accelerate the build-up of the warm, red skin lesions that make up psoriasis. This disease is caused by both genetics and environmental factors.
Pustular psoriasis, usually affects adults, and appears as tiny blisters enclosing pus surrounded by red skin. The pus is not an infection, it is simply a collection of white blood cells. Sometimes pustular psoriasis is limited to the hands and feet, but it sometimes covers the whole body. The developmental pattern of pustular psoriasis starts with red skin, then the pustules, and then scaling.
A combination approach is often used by dermatologists to help manage pustular psoriasis. For generalized pustular psoriasis, some dermatologists prefer using acitretin and methotrexate, either combined or separately, as they can cause pustular psoriasis to go into remission. Phototherapy is also used.
Von Zumbusch causes an extremely fast pustular psoriasis onset. It can be life threatening; emergency care is required. It presents first as painful, red skin followed by the development of pustules. It can cause dehydration and often causes fever and chills, itching, anemia, weight loss, and muscle weakness. A day or two after onset, the pustules should dry and the skin becomes shiny. Treatment includes acitretin, cyclosporine, or methotrexate, and sometimes oral steroids are used.
Palmoplantar pustulosis is a psoriasis that occurs on the palms of the hand and soles of the feet. The pustules appear on red plaques of skin that soon turn brown and crust over. Treatment includes topical creams, phototherapy, or acitretin, methotrexate, or cyclosporine.
Acropustolusis is a rare type of pustular psoriasis. With this type, painful lesions appear on the ends of your fingers and/or toes. This is a hard form to treat; systemic medications are sometimes successful.