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Psoriasis Symptoms

Psoriasis can be a confusing and uncomfortable condition, so understanding its symptoms is key. Imagine your skin cells having a growth spurt, multiplying way faster than normal. This rapid production creates thick, scaly patches that can leave you feeling itchy, sore, and maybe even self-conscious. The symptoms of psoriasis vary depending upon the type of psoriasis.

Here's a breakdown of the most common psoriasis symptoms based on the type of psoriasis:

Plaque Psoriasis


According to an article published by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, about 80% to 90% of patients with psoriasis suffer from this type of psoriasis. It is the most common type of Psoriasis. Symptoms for this type are listed below:

  1. Patches of thick, raised skin known as plaque, usually seen in the early stages of Psoriasis
  2. A dry, thin, and silvery-white coating (scales) covers some plaque
  3. Plaque of different sizes
  4. Smaller plaque joining together to form larger plaque

It is also known as psoriasis vulgaris and is commonly seen on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back.

Guttate Psoriasis


In this type of psoriasis, psoriasis symptoms appear quite suddenly as tiny bumps on the skin. The bumps seem to be:

  1. Scaly and small
  2. Salmon-coloured to pink
  3. Mostly temporary

The symptoms of psoriasis in this type are generally seen on the torso, arms and legs. In some cases, the bumps can also develop on the scalp, face and ears.

Pustular Psoriasis


The primary psoriasis symptom for this type involves pus-filled bumps. While the bumps may look like an infection, the skin is not infected. This is because the bumps don’t contain bacteria or any substances that can cause an infection. Pustular psoriasis symptoms include:

  1. Swollen, red skin dotted with pus-filled bumps
  2. Extremely painful or sore skin
  3. Brown dots (or scales) which appear when the pus-filled bumps dry
  4. Pustular psoriasis symptoms usually appear on the hands and feet.

Inverse Psoriasis


Inverse psoriasis signs and symptoms are most likely to be seen in areas where the skin touches skin, such as the armpits, genitals, creases of the buttocks and other folds of the skin. Inverse psoriasis symptoms generally include:

  1. Smooth, red patches of skin that appears raw
  2. Minimal, if any, silvery-white coating (scales)
  3. Painful or sore skin

Erythrodermic Psoriasis


This type of psoriasis is serious and can be life-threatening. Erythrodermic psoriasis symptoms are as follows:

  1. Redness and scaling almost all over the body
  2. Copious shedding of scales
  3. Fever, chills and the person looks extremely ill
  4. A rapid pulse, muscle weakness and severe itch

People with this type of psoriasis should seek immediate medical attention.

Nail Psoriasis


While psoriasis generally affects the skin, it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the nails. The symptoms of psoriasis when it affects the nails are as mentioned below:

  1. Small dents in your nails (nail pits)
  2. Rough, crumbling nails
  3. Yellow, white or brown discoloration under one or more nails
  4. Build-up of skin cells under one or more nails, which lifts up the nail
  5. Distortion of nail bed.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about half the people with plaque psoriasis see signs and symptoms of psoriasis on their fingernails at some point.

Scalp Psoriasis


Mild scalp psoriasis symptoms may include only slight, fine scaling. Moderate to severe scalp psoriasis symptoms include:

  1. Silvery-white scales
  2. Red, scaly, bumpy patches
  3. Dandruff-like flaking
  4. Dry scalp
  5. Soreness or burning
  6. Itching
  7. Temporary hair loss (in some cases)

Scalp psoriasis symptoms can appear as a single patch or several patches and can affect your entire scalp. It can also spread to the back of your neck, forehead, or behind and inside your ears.

While it is a common form of Psoriasis, it can often be confused with other skin conditions such as dandruff or seborrhoeic dermatitis. Scalp psoriasis is estimated to affect 10% of people with Psoriasis.

Psoriatic Arthritis


When psoriasis affects the joints of the body, it can cause a condition known as psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is psoriatic disease symptom that goes beyond the skin and affects the joints. Symptoms of psoriasis in the case of psoriatic arthritis include:

  1. A tender and swollen joint, especially in toes or fingers
  2. Heel pain
  3. Swelling on the back of your leg, just above your heel
  4. Joint stiffness in the morning that fades during the day

Psoriatic arthritis commonly develops in people who experience symptoms of psoriasis for a very long. It is important to seek early medical attention for psoriatic arthritis. If allowed to progress, psoriatic arthritis can become disabling.

Palmoplantar Psoriasis


It is a type of psoriasis that affects the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Palmoplantar psoriasis symptoms can be seen as follows in the affected areas of the hands and soles:

  1. Red, thickened skin
  2. Silvery scales
  3. Dry, cracked skin
  4. Bleeding
  5. A burning, itchy sensation
  6. Soreness
  7. Thickened, ridged nails
  8. Pits or depressions in nails
  9. Stiff, swollen joints
  10. Itching of the palms and soles, also known as Psoriasis itching.

Psoriasis treatment must be targeted to deal with the signs and symptoms that you suffer from. A homeopathic treatment for psoriasis will identify an individualized remedy based on your specific signs and symptoms. A homeopathic cream or ointment may also be recommended for temporary relief.

Medically Reviewed

Experience: 16+ years


  • B.H.M.S (Maharashtra University of Health Sciences)

  • FCHD (Fellowship in Homeopathic Dermatologist - Mumbai)


What does psoriasis look like when it starts?

A few red pimples on your skin may appear when psoriasis first appears. These might become thicker and bigger before developing scales on top. Large portions of your body could be covered by the patches if they connect. If you rub or pick at your rash, it could bleed readily and be irritating and uncomfortable.

What is the first stage of psoriasis?

The early sign of psoriasis include small bumps. These bumps grow, and scales may form on top. If you scratch your skin, the scales may tear away from your skin. Your skin folds may also bleed easily. Skin rash and Psoriasis may often be confused.

What do nails look like with psoriatic arthritis?

In the case of psoriatic arthritis, the skin underneath the nail may develop discolored, pink patches. The nail may appear to have trapped oil underneath it. The area can turn brown or golden yellow. In some cases, white spots or white discoloration may also be observed as a sign of damage due to psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Not all patients of psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis. Pain in the joints is also a symptom of psoriatic arthritis.

Why am I getting psoriasis all of a sudden?

In most cases, psoriasis symptoms start or aggravate because of a certain event, known as a trigger. Knowing your triggers may help you avoid a flare-up or aggravation of psoriasis symptoms. The common psoriasis triggers include an injury to your skin (cut, scrape, insect bite, or sunburn), infections (strep throat or skin infections), and weather conditions (especially cold and dry).

How quickly does psoriasis appear?

Psoriasis can show up at any age, it frequently begins to show symptoms between the ages of 15 and 25. Psoriasis only affects 10 to 15 percent of people before the age of 10, and it can occasionally affect infants. Each patient's level of psoriasis symptoms is unique. Some people may experience such mild episodes of psoriasis that they fail to recognize its signs.

What conditions can be mistaken for psoriasis?

Skin conditions such as dry skin, rashes, eczema, severe dandruff (seborrhoeic dermatitis), and certain fungal infections may exhibit symptoms similar to psoriasis symptoms.

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