There are 9 different types of psoriasis. Let’s look at each of these psoriasis types in detail.
- Psoriasis Vulgaris: It is also known as plaque psoriasis. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis. It displays red, raised patches with silvery scales.
- Guttate Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis appears as small, separate and drop-shaped red spots on the skin. The spots are not as thick as in plaque psoriasis, but they can develop into plaque psoriasis over time. Strep throat, skin injury, stress and infection can trigger this psoriasis type.
- Pustular Psoriasis: It is a severe type of psoriasis. In this psoriasis type, the lesions are filled with pus, besides having other peculiar characteristics. Pustular psoriasis may affect isolated areas of the body, like the feet and hands, or cover most of the surface of the skin. The pustules can join together and also form scaling.
- Inverse Psoriasis: In this type of psoriasis, bright red, smooth patches are seen in the folds of the skin. The areas that are commonly affected include underarms, under the breasts, genital areas, under the buttocks and under abdominal skin folds.
- Erythrodermic Psoriasis: This is a rare type of psoriasis and can be quite serious and life-threatening. Patients develop intense redness and scaling almost all over their body, often accompanied by the copious shedding of scales. This can be triggered by severe sunburn, intake of steroids, etc. In severe cases, the patient may develop dehydration, fever and infection which may require hospitalization.
- Nail Psoriasis: Fingernails and toenails are also affected by different types of psoriasis. In many types of psoriasis, they appear discoloured, thickened, pitted or ridged and they crumble or detach from the nail bed.
- Scalp Psoriasis: This psoriasis type is common in people with plaque psoriasis. It leaves the scalp dry with scaly or heavily crusted plaque areas. The plaque flakes-off or peels-off in clusters.
- Psoriatic Arthritis: According to an article published in the Polish Journal of Radiology, the prevalence of psoriatic arthritis is reported to be approximately 30% among people with psoriasis. The symptoms of this psoriasis type include swelling, stiffness and pain in the affected joints. This can be quite crippling in the advanced stages.
- Palmoplantar Psoriasis: In this psoriasis type, lesions are seen on the palms and soles of patients.
Life with Psoriasis
Life with psoriasis can be hard. Apart from the lesions, there are several things that may bother psoriasis patients, which also need to be managed and dealt with patiently. Constant itching, stress, disfigurement of the affected parts, social life, relationships and so on often become areas of grave concern for the patient. Some of the common problems posed by different psoriasis types and symptoms are described below:
Stress: It is a common trigger for a psoriasis flare-up. Ironically, a psoriasis flare-up may also cause stress. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, psoriasis is independently associated with stress-related disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Inflammation: The immune system responds to injury and infection by sending out chemicals that cause inflammation as a protective response. The immune system of a psoriasis patient over-responds to injury or infection and sends out too many chemicals. This causes more damage than the intended repair.
Itching: The itch of psoriasis may have a greater impact on the quality of life. It can significantly affect sleep as well as performance of day-to-day activities.
Relationships: Some people may find it difficult to talk to friends and family about psoriasis and how it affects their life. It is a visible disease that can affect relationships in a number of ways. People shy away from physical intimacy if they suffer from poor body-image issues due to psoriasis. Genital psoriasis can have a significant impact on sex and intimacy.
Depression: According to the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, psychosocial factors and deterioration of the quality of life can push people with psoriasis into depression. The social stigma associated with visible psoriasis can trigger depression.
Work: Working while suffering from any type of psoriasis, particularly psoriatic arthritis, can be challenging. You may need to take time off for doctor appointments or ask for changes in the nature of your work, which can be embarrassing and stressful.