Psoriasis is a chronic disease that affects chiefly the skin and joints. It is believed to be an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the skin. It affects males and females equally, and It is most common in people between the ages of 15 and 35.
Types of Psoriasis
There are five main types of psoriasis, and some unfortunate patients can have more than one type. Plaque psoriasis is by far the most common type; it affects over 80 percent of patients. The patient develops raised patches of skin called plaques that are covered with silvery white scales. The plaques can appear anywhere, but are most commonly found on the scalp, lower back, elbows and knees. The plaques can crack and bleed, and they are also often itchy and painful.
Guttate psoriasis is the second most common type and affects about ten percent of patients. This type can be triggered by a strep infection and is most common in children and young adults. In this type, the patient develops small, dot-like lesions.
Inverse psoriasis takes the form of shiny and smooth red patches that appear in places where skin meets skin like under the arm, in the groin or behind the knee. This form often occurs with another type.
In pustular psoriasis, the patient develops white pustules or blisters surrounded by patches of red skin. The pustules can develop anywhere, but they are most common on the feet and hands.
Erythrodermic psoriasis is mercifully rare and affects only three percent of patients. Unlike the other types, it can be life-threatening. Much of the patient’s skin turns red, and it can come off in sheets. The patient also suffers severe itching and pain.
How Severe Is It?
There are many treatments for controlling psoriasis, and our medical professional will consider the severity of the disease as well as the type. The severity is determined by how much of the body it covers and how severely it affects the patient’s life. When it affects the hands or feet, for example, it may be classed as severe even if no other part of the body is affected, simply because of the impact that a skin disease in those places would have.
As a rule of thumb, however, psoriasis covering less than three percent of the body is considered mild. If it covers between three and ten percent of the patient’s body, it is a moderate case. Anything over ten percent is considered severe.
Talk to the Experts
If you have this disease, there are treatments available that can help with some of your symptoms. During a consultation at Dr. Yeoman’s Dermatology Office in Poplar Bluff or Paragould, you can learn about all of your treatment options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!