LEARN ABOUT PSORIASIS
Of all autoimmune diseases, psoriasis is the most common with nearly 7.5 million Americans affected. You are not alone.
WHAT DOES PSORIASIS LOOK LIKE?
Generally, these are the major types of psoriasis you should know about.
PLAQUE is the most common form of psoriasis characterized by raised, inflamed, red lesions covered by silvery white scales. Typically it surfaces on elbows, knees, scalp, and the lower back.
GUTTATE frequently emerges in childhood or young adulthood, appearing as small, red, individual spots on the torso, arms, and legs after a bacterial (strep) infection. Guttate psoriasis often clears on its own without treatment.
INVERSE surfaces as bright-red lesions that are smooth and shiny in the armpits, groin, under the breasts, and in other skin folds around the genitals and the buttocks.
PUSTULAR is an adult disease, characterized by white blisters of noninfectious pus surrounded by red skin. It may be either localized, such as the hands and feet, or generalized, affecting most of the body.
ERYTHRODERMIC is an inflammatory form of psoriasis, characterized by periodic, widespread, fiery redness of the skin and a shedding of the scales in sheets. Typically, it affects most of the body surface.
SCALP PSORIASIS can be mild with slight, fine scaling but it can also be severe with thick plaques covering the entire scalp. The visible signs often extend beyond the hairline onto the forehead, the back of the neck and around the ears. Scalp psoriasis is very common, affecting up to 80% of all psoriasis patients.
PSORIASIS IS COMPLEX
While its precise cause is not fully understood, scientists know that the immune system and genes play key roles in its development. Psoriasis is unpredictable. It may be limited to a few lesions or may involve moderate to large areas of skin. When less than 3% of the body is affected by psoriasis, it’s considered mild; 3 to 10% of the body psoriasis is considered moderate; and more than 10% is considered severe.
(For most individuals, the palm of the hand is about the same as 1% of the skin surface.)**
** National Psoriasis Foundation
1 In a clinical study, patients achieved a greater than 75% repigmentation after 30 sessions. Individual results may vary.
2 Hadi S, Spencer JM., Dermatol Surg 2004.
3 Felten, Alikhan and Petronic-Rosic, JAAD, volume 65, Number 3.