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The 4 Types of Psoriasis

Thursday, May 13th

The 4 Types of Psoriasis

While psoriasis and eczema can sometimes be mistaken for each other, there are major differences between the two skin disorders. One of the major differences between the two irritating skin disorders involves the way they manifest themselves. Both of them result in periodic skin rashes, but these skin rashes are normally located in different areas of the body depending on which skin disorder you have. Psoriasis also has different forms, whereas eczema is pretty consistent from patient to patient.

4 Types of Psoriasis

There are four major types of psoriasis that can affect patients ranging from the very mild to the extremely severe. The most severe and rarest forms of psoriasis can lead to death, but the most common form of psoriasis is normally mild and localized to certain parts of the body.

  1. The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis. This type of psoriasis affects 90 percent of all psoriasis patients and is identified by large red, scaly patches that are most commonly found on the elbows and knees. Although most cases of this type of psoriasis are localized to certain parts of the body, plaque psoriasis can occur anywhere on the body and there are patients that have this type of psoriasis on 100 percent of their surface skin.
  2. The second type of psoriasis is called guttate psoriasis. In this type of psoriasis, smaller lesions like the ones mentioned above are present. While these psoriasis patches are normally small, about 1 to 2 cm, they can affect large areas of the body. This type of psoriasis is typical in patients who develop lesions all over their body after an illness such as strep throat. Guttate psoriasis accounts for 10 percent of psoriasis patients.
  3. The third type of psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis, although rare is extremely dangerous. In this type of psoriasis, the patient's entire skin surface is covered with psoriasis and becomes red and scaly. The skin can no longer offer any protection affecting body's ability to regulate temperature, ward off infection and retain fluids. This type of psoriasis can be life threatening if an infection occurs.
  4. The last and rarest form of psoriasis is pustular psoriasis and is most commonly caused by steroid use or withdrawal from steroid use. This form of psoriasis can also affect all surface areas of the skin and cause problems and death just like erythrodermic psoriasis. Another form of pustular psoriasis affects only the palms and soles of the feat. Although this form of psoriasis is not deadly, it can be debilitating. Patients with this form of psoriasis can't use their hands or feet as it is a very painful condition. Patients with this localized version of pustular psoriasis may find themselves unable to walk or grasp objects.

In addition to affecting the skin, psoriasis can also affect joints. It is estimated that around 7 percent of psoriasis patients also have a form of psoriatic arthritis. This condition can also range from mild to severe depending on the patient.

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