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Understanding the Different Types of Psoriasis

Up to 90% of people with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis, which causes red, thick, scaly patches of skin. Though this type of psoriasis is easy to recognize and diagnose, it’s not the only way the immune-mediated disease presents itself.

There are many types of psoriasis. While most types affect the skin, one type affects the nails, and another type the joints. 

At Associated Skin Care Specialists, our board-certified dermatologists have a reputation throughout the Twin Cities for being experts in diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the skin, nails, and hair. This includes the different types of psoriasis that may be harder to diagnose.

Given our expertise and dedication to skincare and health, we want to help you understand the different types of psoriasis. 

Psoriasis 101

Your skin is the largest and fastest-growing organ in your body. Your body is constantly making new skin cells to replace old skin cells. Normally, skin regeneration takes about a month.

With psoriasis, your body regenerates skin cells at an accelerated rate. The overproduction of skin cells typically presents as thick, scaly patches of skin. 

Psoriasis is an immune-mediated condition. This means an immune system malfunction triggers your body to increase the production of skin cells. 

However, the immune system problem may not be limited to your skin and may cause inflammation anywhere on your body, says the National Psoriasis Foundation

Types of psoriasis

How psoriasis affects you and your skin may not be like any other person diagnosed with a chronic skin condition. In addition to causing an array of symptoms, there are also many types of psoriasis that have their own unique characteristics. 

Plaque psoriasis

As noted, plaque psoriasis is the most common type. It presents as dry, raised, red patches of skin, which may be painful or itchy. These patches may appear anywhere on your body, but most often affect the elbows, knees, back, and scalp. 

Guttate psoriasis

People with plaque psoriasis may develop guttate psoriasis after an infection. This type of psoriasis causes small, pink, scaly dots on the skin. 

Inverse psoriasis

Inverse psoriasis affects areas of the body where the skin touches the skin, such as the underarm or groin area. With this type of psoriasis, the skin is red, raw, and smooth, not scaly.

Pustular psoriasis

Pustular psoriasis causes painful pus-filled bumps. Typically, this type of psoriasis only affects the skin on the hands or feet. 

However, this type of psoriasis can cover large areas of skin and is known as generalized pustular psoriasis. You’re more likely to develop generalized pustular psoriasis if you already have another type of psoriasis.

Erythrodermic psoriasis

With erythrodermic psoriasis, you have a red, peeling rash that covers your entire body. The rash may itch or burn. This is one of the least common types of psoriasis. 

Nail psoriasis

It’s not uncommon for people with one of the skin types of psoriasis to develop nail psoriasis, which causes nail pitting and discoloration. Your nails may also lift or separate from the nail bed. 

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis causes joint pain and swelling. This type of psoriasis may occur on its own or develop in people with other types of psoriasis. 

Who gets different types of psoriasis?

Psoriasis isn’t a cookie-cutter disease. You can have one type of psoriasis most of your life and then develop a secondary type. Additionally, your psoriasis may affect your nails or joints before it affects your skin.

Though there’s no clear way to predict the course of your psoriasis, getting the right diagnosis and treatment can help you gain control over your symptoms and prevent future flare-ups.

Our dermatologists develop individualized treatment plans based on psoriasis type and symptoms. We offer many innovative treatments, including light therapy and biological treatment. 

We’re also currently participating in a psoriasis clinical study and looking for qualified volunteers. 

Whether you’re struggling to get the right diagnosis or need help controlling your psoriasis, we can provide the care you need. 

Call the office in Blaine, New Brighton, Maple Grove, Fridley, Eden Prairie, or Coon Rapids, Minnesota, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists.

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