What are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?

B. Miller

The symptoms of psoriasis are often similar to any other dry skin symptoms, and include red, peeling, itchy, or flaky skin. These symptoms are typically much worse than standard dry skin, however, and will be difficult or impossible to get rid of. In addition, symptoms of psoriasis might include thickening of the skin or nails and patches of raised skin, but each person's symptoms may be different. A doctor will be able to determine if the symptoms one is experiencing are symptoms of psoriasis or another skin condition.

Scalp psoriasis causes itching and flaking.
Scalp psoriasis causes itching and flaking.

There are a number of different types of psoriasis that present different symptoms; plaque, nail, scalp, pustular, or erythrodermic psoriasis are just a few of the possible conditions, among others. Plaque psoriasis is the most common, and will cause plaque patches on the skin, which are the scaly patches on the skin most often associated with psoriasis. These patches will typically be dry, red, and itchy, and they can occur anywhere on the body. If they get severe enough, the skin may actually crack, which can cause bleeding and can be very painful.

Scalp psoriasis can cause itching, flaking, and redness.
Scalp psoriasis can cause itching, flaking, and redness.

The symptoms of psoriasis of the nails typically include a thickening, cracking, or deformity of the nails, which may eventually fall off. Scalp psoriasis affects the scalp, and will also cause itching, flaking, and redness. Pustular or erythrodermic psoriasis will typically come on much more quickly, and will lead to pustules, blisters, or a rash over the body that is itchy and painful. Finally, some people experience a type of arthritis associated with psoriasis, which can lead to pain, swelling, or a feeling of stiffness in the joints. Symptoms of psoriasis are largely associated with skin symptoms, however.

Psoriasis is often a lifelong condition, though it may disappear for weeks, months, or even years before flaring up again. A doctor will typically be able to prescribe treatment such as a medicated cream. Some people find that certain lifestyle changes will cause symptoms of psoriasis to flare up; this can be caused by stress, smoking or drinking, injury to the skin, dry, windy or cold weather, or a change in other medications, just to name a few. Learning these triggers can be a good way to prevent psoriasis flare-ups, although it will typically not be possible to prevent all instances. It is important to treat the psoriasis as soon as it appears to prevent it from becoming worse and causing damage to the skin.

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