What type of Psoriasis do I have?
Patches of itchy redness, flaky skin, raised spots or bumps - what your skin looks like can tell what sort of psoriasis you have.There are five main types:
Plaque psoriasis. This is the most common type of psoriasis and shows as thick, clearly defined red patches with loose scales called plaques. These look silver on pale skin, more purplish on black or dark skin. Plaque psoriasis can appear on the scalp as loose, silvery scales that can shed on your hair and clothing, Nail psoriasis also occurs with plaque psoriasis.
Inverse psoriasis. This type looks very much like Plaque Psoriasis but it only appears in the folds of skin, in areas such as the groin, underarms and navel.
Guttate psoriasis has small, raised, scaly dots that appear in the hundreds, usually on your arms, legs, and trunk.
Pustular psoriasis. A rare form of the condition, Pustular Psoriasis has pus-filled bumps surrounded by inflammation and scaling. It usually develops suddenly and because it causes the skin to lose its protective function as a barrier. You should see a doctor promptly.
Erythrodermic psoriasis. Fortunately this type of psoriasis is also rare. It is identified by large, lobster-red areas from head to toe that can shed and peel in sheets. Erythrodermic Psoriasis can be dangerous and requires urgent medical attention.
Can you pass it on?
Psoriasis is not contagious, so it's not something you can give to someone else by sharing a bed or towel, but it is genetically linked. Children of a parent with psoriasis have a 14% chance of inheriting the condition.
Does it hurt?
The spots and plaques can be very itchy and sore. Also, because Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, about a third of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis in the joints, making them swollen, stiff and painful. Dermatologists who specialise in psoriasis can help with medication to treat this.
Can psoriasis be cured?
There are many treatment options today that can keep psoriasis well under control and you can have lengthy periods with few symptoms. During pregnancy many women find their skin clears completely and for some people it simply disappears without any known reason. But for most, psoriasis is an ongoing condition because it is triggered by an overactive immune system which makes your body grow skin cells more quickly than they should.