Are There Complications Of Psoriasis
In some people, psoriasis causes more than itchiness and red skin. It can lead to swollen joints and arthritis. If you have psoriasis, you may be at higher risk of:
- Use medicated shampoo for scales on your scalp.
Other steps you should take to stay as healthy as possible:
- Talk to your healthcare provider about lowering your risk for related conditions, such as heart disease, depression and diabetes.
- Lower your stress with meditation, exercise or seeing a mental health professional.
Psoriasis Can Cause Arthritis
For an unknown reason, psoriasis can cause a form of arthritis known as psoriatic arthritis. Symptoms include:
- discomfort, throbbing or swelling in one or many joints
- tenderness in any joint
- pain caused by inflammation in the joints, which stimulates nerve endings.
- The joints most likely to be affected are the last joint in the fingers or toes, the sacrum , wrists, knees or ankles.
How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed
Doctors usually diagnose psoriasis by examining the skin, scalp, and nails. They’ll also ask whether someone else in the family has psoriasis and if the child recently had an illness or started taking a new medicine.
Rarely, doctors might take a skin sample to check more closely. A biopsy can tell the doctor whether it’s psoriasis or another condition with similar symptoms.
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Acne: Blocked Pores That Lead To Pimples
Some forms of psoriasis appear as pus-filled blisters that may be confused with pimples. Pustular psoriasis forms white blisters that are filled with pus and surrounded by red skin. Far more common than psoriasis, acne also causes a pus-filled pimple eruption. However unlike psoriasis acne is caused by excess oil, blocked pores, and bacteria. Acne is common in teens and young adults and occurs on the face, neck, back, or chest. Pustular psoriasis is usually seen in adults and can occur anywhere on the body, but less likely on the face.
Common Types Of Psoriasis
This is the most common form, accounting for about 80 to 90% of cases.
Its symptoms are dry red skin lesions, known as plaques, covered in silver scales.
They normally appear on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere on your body.
The plaques can be itchy or sore, or both. In severe cases, the skin around your joints may crack and bleed.
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Merck And The Merck Manuals
Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. From developing new therapies that treat and prevent disease to helping people in need, we are committed to improving health and well-being around the world. The Merck Manual was first published in 1899 as a service to the community. The legacy of this great resource continues as the MSD Manual outside of North America. Learn more about our commitment to Global Medical Knowledge.
What Is Psoriasis And What Causes It
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition. If you have psoriasis, it means your skin cells regenerate much faster than usual, causing them to build up. Anyone can get psoriasis, but its not contagious.
Some common triggers for psoriasis are:
- certain medications
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Other Types Of Rashes That Are *not* Psoriasis
Psoriasis, is it really you? Several other conditions that arent psoriasis can also cause itchy rashes:
- Eczema. This is another skin condition that gives you all the itchy feelings. The major difference? An eczema rash is usually thinner and less red than a psoriasis rash.
- Shingles. Meet chickenpoxs cousin, shingles. A shingles rash develops from the same virus that causes chickenpox. It can leave you with itchy, painful blisters that tend to disappear after a few weeks.
- Heat rash. A heat rash pops up when your sweat glands are blocked and the sweat thats trying to get out gets backed up. Its most likely to happen if youre hanging out in hot weather, and it usually clears up within a day.
- Lichen planus. This type of rash has no known cause. It appears as small, flat-topped bumps on your skin. The bumps might be covered by a white plaque that can make this rash look a lot like psoriasis.
- Pityriasis rosea. This type of skin rash usually shows up as one large patch before spreading to other parts of your body. It usually disappears on its own after 6 to 8 weeks.
- Ringworm. Unlike psoriasis, ringworm isnt an autoimmune condition. Its a fungal infection. The name comes from the worm-like circle the rash forms on your skin. Ringworm is easily treated with antifungal meds.
- Seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis is a skin condition that usually shows up on the oily areas of your bod . You could have sebopsoriasis, the combo of psoriasis and SB.
Plaque Psoriasis Of The Gluteal Cleft
This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.
CDC/Dr. Gavin Hart
The gluteal cleft is a common site for plaque psoriasis. This photo illustrates the characteristic plaques with their clearly defined borders and patchy scales.
The scales are one of the clues that differentiate plaque psoriasis from inverse psoriasis, which can also develop in the gluteal crease. However, with inverse psoriasis, the lesions tend to be smooth with few visible scales.
Inverse psoriasis is more common in people with obesity who have more skin folds and greater amounts of adipose tissues.
The problem with gluteal involvement is that the very act of sitting can irritate inflamed skin and make the condition worse.
CDC/Dr. N.J. Fiumara
In this photo, plaque psoriasis appears on the elbow and arm. There is little scaling, but the affected skin appears thick, red, and irritated. At first glance, it is easy to mistake the multiple lesions for any number of other skin conditions.
Because there are no blood tests or imaging studies that can definitively diagnose psoriasis, misdiagnosis can sometimes occur.
The diagnosis of psoriasis is based primarily on the appearance of the lesions, a review of one’s medical history , and the exclusion of all other causes .
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Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
There are many prescription-strength treatments that are helpful at controlling psoriasis. For mild or moderate cases, medicines applied directly to the skin may be prescribed:
- The mainstay of therapy for psoriasis is topical steroids, either in creams or ointment form. Higher-potency topical steroids are used for the body or scalp, and lower-potency topical steroids are best for the face and skinfold areas. Steroid solutions or liquids can be used on the scalp. Use should be limited to 14 weeks at a time because long-term use of steroids can lead to stretch marks and thinning of the skin.
- Calcipotriene is a vitamin D derivative cream that works as well as steroids, and it is even more effective when combined with topical steroids.
- Tazarotene is a vitamin A-based cream that may be prescribed. Women of childbearing age should be counseled to avoid pregnancy while using tazarotene because this treatment may cause birth defects.
- Topical immunosuppressants such as tacrolimus and pimecrolimus may also be used, but they can cause skin burning and itching and are expensive. These treatments may possibly increase your risk for skin cancer and lymphoma.
- Coal tar-based therapies and anthralin creams are sometimes used, but they are used less frequently than other treatments because they have an odor, cause skin irritation, and can stain clothing and because neither is any more effective than calcipotriene.
For more extensive psoriasis:
Msd And The Msd Manuals
Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. From developing new therapies that treat and prevent disease to helping people in need, we are committed to improving health and well-being around the world. The Manual was first published in 1899 as a service to the community. The legacy of this great resource continues as the MSD Manual outside of the United States and Canada. Learn more about our commitment to Global Medical Knowledge.
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Measles: A Facial Rash That Can Cover The Body
Like guttate psoriasis, measles also follow symptoms of an upper respiratory infection in children and cause a skin rash of small, red spots. However, the measles skin rash usually starts on the face and spreads down to cover the body and is accompanied by fever, cough, and a runny nose. Measles rash is also flat, while the rash of psoriasis is typically raised. Measles is caused by a virus and is contagious, though the measles vaccination has made this a rare disease in the United States.
What Are Other Types Of Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type. About 80% to 90% of people with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis.
Other, less common types of psoriasis include:
- Inverse psoriasis appears in skin folds. It may look like thin pink plaques without scale.
- Guttate psoriasis may appear after a sore throat caused by a streptococcal infection. It looks like small, red, drop-shaped scaly spots in children and young adults.
- Pustular psoriasis has small, pus-filled bumps on top of the red patches or plaques.
- Sebopsoriasis typically appears on the face and scalp as red bumps and plaques with greasy yellow scale. This type is a cross between psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.
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What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have psoriasis, ask your healthcare provider:
- How can I prevent outbreaks and control symptoms?
- What medication will work best for me?
- What else should I do to improve symptoms?
- What are my options if creams dont work?
- Will psoriasis ever go away?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Psoriasis, an itchy skin condition, can come and go throughout your life. Its related to an overactive immune response and is not contagious. If you have skin changes that arent going away, talk to your healthcare provider. There is no cure for psoriasis, but psoriasis treatments can improve symptoms. Your provider may prescribe a special cream or moisturizer or medications. Other therapies are available if creams or medicines dont work. Maintaining your overall health will also help improve symptoms.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/17/2020.
What Does Plaque Psoriasis Look Like
A plaque psoriasis rash looks like raised patches of thick, inflamed skin. On light skin, it looks red and scaly, often with a layer of silver on top. On skin with more pigment, the plaques look purple, gray, or darker brown and tend to be thicker.
Plaques can develop anywhere but are most likely to appear on your:
- lower back
Plaques also tend to be symmetrical. For example, youre more likely to have plaques on both knees or elbows than on just one side. Other symptoms include:
You can spot this type of psoriasis rash by small, raised round spots called papules. They sometimes have a scaly appearance. The spots might look red on light skin and purple or brown on skin with more pigment.
Guttate psoriasis can start at any age. For most people, though, it starts in childhood or adolescence. It can develop after an infection, such as strep throat or tonsillitis.
Its most likely to develop on the limbs and torso, though some people get it on the scalp, face, or ears.
Psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body. It can develop in just one area, or it can show up in several. For example, theres:
Plaque, inverse, and guttate are the most common types. Others include:
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Plaque Psoriasis Of The Elbow
This photo contains content that some people may find graphic or disturbing.
This photo illustrates how thick plaques can become if left untreated. Beyond a lack of appropriate treatment, plaque psoriasis can be instigated by any number of common and uncommon triggers. These include stress, infections, obesity, alcohol, smoking, skin trauma, medications, extreme humidity, and cold/dry weather.
Many of thesedrugs and stress, especiallycan exacerbate flares, making symptoms worse and more difficult to control.
In cases this severe, a doctor would likely recommend immunosuppressant drugs that temper the overactive immune response. These include disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs like methotrexate and cyclosporine, or new biologic drugs like Humira and Enbrel .
Dry Cracked Skin: Irritation That Can Lead To Infection
Dry, cracked skin is a psoriasis symptom. However, dry air can also cause your skin to become dry and itchy. When the skin is dry and irritated , it’s more likely to get infected. Infection may cause your skin to become red and swollen. If you have any skin rashes that keep coming back or won’t go away, see your doctor. Most cases of psoriasis can be diagnosed with a physical examination but because psoriasis can look like many other skin conditions, a skin biopsy may have to be done to definitively diagnose it.
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Guttate Psoriasis: Small Red Spots
Guttate psoriasis the second most common type of psoriasis is characterized by multiple small, round red spots on the skin, usually widespread across the trunk and limbs. Often resulting from a bacterial or viral infection in children, such as strep throat, these spots come on suddenly and sometimes require oral medication or injections. Mild cases, however, may clear up without treatment.
Heat Rash: Sweating That Leads To Bumpy Red Skin
Inverse psoriasis is a type of psoriasis that forms in the armpits and skin folds under breasts or in groin areas, making the skin red and shiny. Sweating makes this type of psoriasis worse. Heat rash also makes your skin red and forms in skin folds of the groin, breasts, and armpits. Heat rash occurs in hot, humid conditions. Sweating can cause your pores to get blocked and result in a bumpy, red skin rash that stings. Heat rash is more common in newborns, but can also affect older children and adults.
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How To Treat Plaque Psoriasis On Elbows
Ive had plaque psoriasis for 20 years starting with Saturn Psoriasis on elbows, legs and face. I have been through the normal SOP treatment Creams -> Steriods -> UVB Treatments -> Anti-cancer treatments. All with limited relief or respite. Finally, I am currently in my best position for 20 years due to a combination or research and communication. Here is my list!
1) ITCHING! Probably the worst symptom, prevents socialising / sleep / confidence. Fexofenadine Hydrochloride 120mg. Its an antihistamine, 1-2 tablets a day. Works really well.
2) SKIN FLAKES! Embarrassing / soul destroying / confidence crushing. Enstilar is a god send. Wean on and wean off for best results. E45 for constant maintenance and moisturising.
3) SENSITIVE SKIN Dovobet very sparingly with Coconut Oil on a daily basis
4).DIGESTION Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease so please try a Paleo diet to remove dairy / wheat / processed foods. 6-8 detox followed by small and limited introductions.
5) PRO-BIOTIC to prevent Leeky gut symptom and assist with 4 a good pro-culture complex is essential. Skin improvement within 4-8 weeks.
6) ARTHRITIC PSORIASIS : extreme conditions can result in extreme joint pain across the body but hips / knees / ankles / toes / fingers are most common. So Pain can be horrific and debilitating.Sulfasalazine works for me, but many arthritis tablets will aggravate psoriasis fast. Be careful.
Stay strong there is a combination that works.
Flexural Or Inverse Psoriasis
Flexural or inverse psoriasis often appears in skinfolds, such as under the breasts or in the armpits or groin area. This type of psoriasis is red and often shiny and smooth.
The sweat and moisture from skinfolds keeps this form of psoriasis from shedding skin scales. Sometimes its misdiagnosed as a fungal or bacterial infection. The skin-on-skin contact can make inverse psoriasis very uncomfortable.
Most people with inverse psoriasis also have a different form of psoriasis in other places on the body.
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Clinical Trials For Psoriasis
Before a new treatment can be registered in Australia it must undergo extensive testing. Clinical trials are used to determine the safety and effectiveness of new treatments for psoriasis. The regulations governing clinical trials in Australia make the process as safe as possible for clinical trial participants. People with psoriasis may consider volunteering to participate in a clinical trial. Participation provides volunteers with access to cutting edge treatments that are not otherwise available. General information about being part of a clinical trial can be found here. Internationally, ClinicalTrials.gov provides patients, their family members, and the public with easy and free access to information on clinical studies for a wide range of diseases and conditions. If you are interested in participating in a clinical trial, talk to your doctor.
Pearls And Other Issues
Summary of Guidelines
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