Psoriasis has a long history going back to the Old Testament, where it was included with skin conditions called “tzaraat.” Later it was confused with leprosy. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that dermatologists began to differentiate psoriasis from other skin conditions. Even today, psoriasis can be confused with various forms of dermatitis. While it is good to know the symptoms, a diagnosis by a professional is recommended. There are no special blood tests for the affliction, but often a skin biopsy, or scraping, is needed to clearly determine the type and severity. A biopsy can pinpoint bleeding from skin below the lesions, a clear sign of psoriasis.
Psoriasis More Condition Symptoms
There are many types of psoriasis, each with slightly different symptoms:
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type, effecting 80-90% of those who have psoriasis. It manifests as patches of raised, inflamed skin, covered with silvery white scales, which give it its name, “plaque.” from a Dutch word meaning “patch.” The word psoriasis comes from the Greek word meaning “to have the itch.”
Pustular psoriasis manifests as bumps filled with pus, surrounded by red skin. The pus is not infectious. The pustules are commonly on the hands and feet but may occur all over the body.
Flexural psoriasis manifests as smooth red lesions in skin folds, such as between the thigh and genitals, under the breasts or armpits, even under a beer belly or bulging abdomen. Because these areas receive friction and sweat, they are also vulnerable to fungus infections.
Guttate psoriasis manifests as a multitude of tiny, oval red spots over large areas of the body.
Nail psoriasis causes etched lines across the nail plate, pitting, loosening and crumbling of the nails. It causes thickening and discoloring of the skin under the nails.
Scalp psoriasis manifests as red lesions covered with scale. It can be mild, with slight, fine scaling or severe with thick scale over the entire scalp, causing hair loss. It can extend beyond the hairline, onto the forehead, ears and back of the neck. Sometimes the scalp is the only area that is affected by psoriasis, but most often people with scalp psoriasis have it on other parts of their body as well. Click here for more information on scalp psoriasis.
Psoriatic arthritis manifests as joint and connective tissue inflammation, most commonly in the fingers and toes. The fingers and toes swell like sausages. It can also effect knees, spine–any joint.
Erythrodermic psoriasis is psoriasis in an extreme state and can be fatal. Symptoms include widespread inflammation and exfoliation of the skin, severe itching, pain and swelling. Erythrodermic psoriasis can occur as a “rebound” from abrupt withdrawal of some drugs used for psoriasis treatment. Skin is vital to regulate the body’s temperature. It also serves as a barrier to toxic elements and bacteria. Heavy peeling or exfoliation removes this vital barrier and body temperature control, thus endangering life.
If psoriasis is spreading throughout your body, in addition to contacting a medical practitioner we suggest you try our over-the-counter Ultra Balm. We are always amazed by the number of calls we receive from psoriasis sufferers who have been unsuccessful with many prescription drugs and creams and who claim that Ultra Balm gives them the most relief of anything they’ve ever tried and is far less expensive as well.