What Body Parts Does Plaque Psoriasis Affect
The American Academy of Dermatology Association states that plaque psoriasis can occur on any part of the body but most often appears on a person’s:
- lower back
“One of the reasons we think psoriasis develops on the extensor elbows and knees is because there’s frictional stress on those areas,” says Dr. Brodell.
Whether a person has one or more areas of their body affected varies. Dr. Brodell sees patients with psoriasis just in one area of the body and some with several areas of the body affected. “We even have people who just have pitting in their nails for years before we find that they have psoriasis showing up on areas of their body,” he says.
Irritant Or Allergic Contact Dermatitis
These are two other common kinds of eczema. They cause the same type of itchy, red, inflamed rash as atopic dermatitis. But the cause is an irritant or an allergen that comes in contact with your skin, often your hands or legs.
Poison ivy is the best-known allergen that can cause a reaction. But there are thousands of triggers. They include chemicals, fragrances, and metals. These forms of dermatitis come from the world around you, so if you can avoid your triggers, you can avoid the rash.
In severe cases, skin will blister, ooze, and scab over. But the symptoms go away with time. If you notice any scaling, it will be different from the thick silvery scales of psoriasis.
Who Is Affected By Guttate Psoriasis
- Usually young people get guttate psoriasis, in their teens or twenties. Men and women are affected equally.
- It seems to occur all over the world.
- No one really quite knows how common it is. In general, a GP in the UK would have heard of it and probably know how to diagnose it, but they may not have seen a case themselves for many years.
Read Also: How To Loosen Psoriasis Scales On Scalp
Is Psoriasis The Same As Eczema
Psoriasis and eczema are two different skin conditions. They differ in where the disease appears on the body, how much it itches and how it looks. Eczema tends to appear more often behind the knees and inside the elbows. Eczema also causes more intense itching than psoriasis. Many people, especially children, can get both eczema and psoriasis.
Atopic Dermatitis Vs Psoriasis
Psoriasis and atopic dermatitis are common, long-term skin diseases. Both are noncontagious. Because both the rashes look somewhat similar, the diagnosis may be difficult at the first glance, and a biopsy of the skin remains the last resort. However, certain things that can help differentiate between the two before the doctor orders a biopsy.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Otc Shampoo For Psoriasis
Is It Psoriasis Or Something Else
Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the U.S. Yet, many people dont know what it is or even what it looks like, because psoriasis symptoms can resemble more than 50 other diseases, such as eczema, lupus and rosacea. So, how do you know if you have psoriasis or a similar-looking condition?
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Psoriasis
Dry, thick, and raised patches on the skin are the most common sign of psoriasis. These patches are often covered with a silvery-white coating called scale, and they tend to itch.
While patches of thickened, dry skin are common, psoriasis can cause many signs and symptoms. What you see and feel tends to vary with the:
Type of psoriasis you have
Places psoriasis appears on your body
Amount of psoriasis you have
Recommended Reading: Crema Para La Psoriasis En La Cara
What If Those Psoriasis Treatments Dont Work
If psoriasis doesnt improve, your healthcare provider may recommend these treatments:
- Light therapy: UV light at specific wavelengths can decrease skin inflammation and help slow skin cell production.
- PUVA: This treatment combines a medication called psoralen with exposure to a special form of UV light.
- Methotrexate: Providers sometimes recommend this medication for severe cases. It may cause liver disease. If you take it, your provider will monitor you with blood tests. You may need periodic liver biopsies to check your liver health.
- Retinoids: These vitamin A-related drugs can cause side effects, including birth defects.
- Cyclosporine: This medicine can help severe psoriasis. But it may cause high blood pressure and kidney damage.
- Immune therapies: Newer immune therapy medications work by blocking the bodys immune system so it cant jumpstart an autoimmune disease such as psoriasis.
Seeking The Right Treatment
Unfortunately, there are currently no cures for these skin conditions, and many people have to manage their symptoms over a lifetime. Depending on several factors, including your age and severity of your condition, your doctor will develop a treatment plan that includes a combination of medicine, avoiding triggers, and having a good skin care regimen and healthy lifestyle. Its important to get the right diagnosis with a doctor who specializes in these conditions, such as a dermatologist, and to develop a treatment plan thats tailored to your specific needs.
Don’t Miss: What Are Symptoms Of Plaque Psoriasis
Tips For Getting The Right Diagnosis
For the best chance of getting the right diagnosis, a person should make sure they give an accurate history when a doctor or dermatologist asks. The more information a medical professional has to work with, the more likely they are to diagnose a persons illness correctly.
This is especially important with skin conditions such as psoriasis. A medical professional will typically rely on both a history and a visual assessment to work out what a persons skin condition is. A visual assessment alone may not be enough.
If a person is unsure about their diagnosis, they can request further diagnostic tests. This may involve speaking to a dermatologist, who might use dermoscopy or recommend a skin biopsy.
A skin biopsy involves taking a small sample of the skin and sending it to a lab for testing.
Uttanasana Or Padahastasana Hasta Padasana Standing Forward Bend:
This yoga pose improves the blood circulation to the face, head and neck. It relaxes the facial muscles and balance out the hormones. This way, it gives you a healthy skin.
How to Do It:
Stand straight. The hands must be on the hips. Inhale. Bend your hip as you exhale. Place hands on the floor beside the feet. Feet should be parallel to each other. Push the torso forward as you stretch and raise the tailbone. Hold for a few seconds. Back to the starting position.
You May Like: Does Smoking Make Psoriasis Worse
Is Scalp Psoriasis Curable
Dr. Wofford says, Unfortunately, there is no cure for any form of psoriasis, including scalp psoriasis. However, advancing research has enabled your dermatologist to provide effective treatments to prevent flare-ups and manage symptoms when they do arise. That means most people have mild symptoms that do not last long.
There is a range of treatments available for scalp psoriasis. In most cases, youll begin with medicated shampoos, creams, or other topical treatments that you apply directly to the affected areas. Some of these products are available over the counter and in prescription-strength formulas. Prescription topical treatments may also include ingredients like anthralin, antimicrobials, vitamin D , corticosteroids, and/or vitamin A derivatives.
For severe symptoms that dont improve with topical treatment, a combination of in-office and at-home dermatology treatments may be recommended in addition to continuing topical treatments. Some commonly recommended solutions include:
- Laser therapy using low-heat lasers to address itch and redness and improve scalp psoriasis symptoms
- Oral medications corticosteroids, cyclosporine, methotrexate, retinoids , apremilast
- Biologics adalimumab, brodalumab, certolizumab, etanercept, guselkumab, infliximab, ixekizumab, risankizumab, secukinumab, tildrakizumab, ustekinumab
The Five Types Of Psoriasis
- Plaque psoriasis: As the most common type of psoriasis, this condition appears as patches of thick, scaly and silvery plaques on the skin.
- Guttate psoriasis: A large-scale rash with small, reddish bumps that can often be linked to streptococcal or a bacterial infection.
- Inverse psoriasis: Dry, red, scaly patches form in the folds of the skinsuch as armpits.
- Pustular psoriasis: Puss-filled blisters form on the skin.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis: An aggressive form of psoriasis that causes widespread peeling, burning, fever and inflammation.
You May Like: Can Fish Oil Make Psoriasis Worse
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.
What Does Scalp Psoriasis Look Like
The appearance of scalp psoriasis varies. If you have psoriasis on other parts of your body, your flare-ups on the scalp will likely look the same. Scalp psoriasis commonly presents with:
- Scaly patches of skin
- Bumpy patches of skin
- Red or purple skin discoloration
- Thick, silvery-white patches of skin and/or flakes that are like dandruff
- Hair loss
Scalp psoriasis may be confused with another condition called seborrheic dermatitis . Like scalp psoriasis, this condition causes itchy and flaky skin. While psoriasis flakes are often dry and white or silver, the seborrheic dermatitis flakes often appear yellow and are greasy.
In some cases, scalp psoriasis is mistaken for dandruff, and if the psoriasis symptoms are mild, the conditions are nearly indistinguishable to the naked eye. It may take a specialist to tell the difference. If you have psoriasis on other parts of your body, its much more likely youre dealing with scalp psoriasis, especially if there are thick patches of skin on your scalp or the condition lasts for weeks without improving.
Read Also: Can You Develop Psoriasis Later In Life
Visit Your Trusted Dermatologist
If youre struggling with scalp psoriasis or youre just ready for an annual skin exam, the U.S. Dermatology Partners team is here to help. You can get started planning your visit right away by completing our online scheduling request form. After we receive your appointment request, a team member will be in touch to finalize appointment details.
Find a location near me
Sign Up for Our Newsletter!
Get the latest updates on news, specials and skin care information.
How Is Psoriasis Diagnosed
Your primary care doctor may refer you to a dermatologist for a diagnosis of psoriasis. Theyll likely ask if you have a family history of the disease and ask about different triggers that may have set off your symptoms.
From there, theyll perform a physical examination that includes a complete skin exam. Theyll look at your skin for signs of psoriasis. In some cases, you may need to undergo a procedure called a skin biopsy.
Your doctor will use general anesthetic and obtain a small sample of your skin to study under a microscope. If the sample exhibits characteristics of psoriasis histologically, this is often enough information to make the diagnosis.
There are a number of skin conditions that share characteristics with psoriasis. Knowing their symptoms, causes, and other characteristics may help you identify your own skin issues.
You May Like: What Makes Psoriasis Flare Up
What’s The Outlook Like After Having Guttate Psoriasis
- In nearly two thirds of people the spots clear up and never come back.
- Occasionally the spots turn into a more long-term type of psoriasis called plaque psoriasis. This can be treated with similar creams and light treatment.
- Once it’s cleared, sometimes a second outbreak of guttate psoriasis happens. This could happen if the streptococcus bug is lurking in your tonsils.
- Thankfully the guttate psoriasis never properly scars, although sometimes it can leave tiny pale marks where it used to be: these should fade with time though.
Continue Learning About Plaque Psoriasis
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
Also Check: What Does Severe Psoriasis Look Like
Clinical Presentation And Differential Diagnosis
1. Hoppe RT, Wood GS, Abel EA. Mycosis fungoides and the Sézary syndrome: pathology, staging, and treatment. Curr Probl Cancer. 1990 14:293371….
2. Dalton JA, Yag-Howard C, Messina JL, Glass LF. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Int J Dermatol. 1997 36:8019.
3. Zackheim HS, McCalmont TH, Deanovic FW, Odom RB. Mycosis fungoides with onset before 20 years of age. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997 36:55762.
4. Burg G, Dummer R, Nestle FO, Doebbeling U, Haeffner A. Cutaneous lymphomas consist of a spectrum of nosologically different entities including mycosis fungoides and small plaque parapsoriasis. Arch Dermatol. 1996 132:56772.
5. Fitzpatrick TB, ed. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in general medicine. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993:1285305.
6. Knowles FC, ed. Diseases of the skin. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1923:316.
7. Hansen ER. Immunoregulatory events in the skin of patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Arch Dermatol. 1996 132:55461.
8. Demierre MF, Foss FM, Koh HK. Proceedings of the International Consensus Conference on Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma Treatment Recommendations. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997 36:4606.
9. Kim YH, Jensen RA, Watanabe G, Varghese A, Hoppe RT. Clinical stage IA mycosis fungoides. A long-term outcome analysis. Arch Dermatol. 1996 132:130913.
Irritated Psoriasis Can Resemble Eczema
Plaque psoriasis can by very itchy causing some people to scratch it.
“Irritated psoriasis in a patient that is doing lots of rubbing and scratching can become inflamed and have features of chronic eczema. The more you scratch, the more it thickens, and so on,” says Dr. Brodell.
While both conditions may cause your skin to be red and inflamed, a dermatologist can tell the difference. Subtle differences in the appearance, location and distribution of the rash, and other clues allow the diagnosis to be made without a biopsy or blood test.
Also Check: Get Rid Of Psoriasis For Good
Learning The Differences Between Eczema And Psoriasis
Psoriasis causes well-defined, thick, red, scaly patches, commonly in areas like the elbows and knees. It is common to see psoriasis on the face, buttocks, and scalp of a child. Youll also commonly see thick patches of skin with overlying redness.
Eczema tends to appear in the crooks of the knees and the elbows.
Children who have psoriasis tend to have mild itching. In eczema, the itching can be intense.
There are many ways for a dermatologist to tell the difference between eczema and psoriasis, including what one sees on the skin, the amount of itch, and where the disease appears on the skin.
What Injections Or Infusions Are Available For Psoriasis
Recently, a new group of drugs called biologics have become available to treat psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. They are produced by living cells cultures in an industrial setting. They are all proteins and therefore must be administered through the skin because they would otherwise be degraded during digestion. All biologics work by suppressing certain specific portions of the immune inflammatory response that are overactive in psoriasis. A convenient method of categorizing these drugs is on the basis of their site of action:
Drug choice can be complicated, and your physician will help in selecting the best option. In some patients, it may be possible to predict drug efficacy on the basis of a prospective patient’s genetics. It appears that the presence of the HLA-Cw6 gene is correlated with a beneficial response to ustekinumab.
Don’t Miss: How Often Do You Take Humira For Psoriasis
Eczema: Red Itchy Irritated Skin
Like psoriasis, eczema is a chronic skin condition that often causes intense itching. Scratching causes redness and inflammation of the skin, leading to a worsening of the eczema. Scratching can also cause a secondary bacterial infection. The most common type of eczema is caused by a reaction to irritants like detergents, soaps, or household cleansers. So if you have eczema, you should be careful to use mild soap and regularly moisturize your sensitive skin. Your doctor may prescribe a steroid cream or other medications if eczema is severe.
Plaque Psoriasis: Red Bumps And Silvery Scales
Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the chronic skin condition, affecting about 80 percent of people with psoriasis. Usually starting as small red bumps on the skin, plaque psoriasis develops into red patches with a silvery, scaly coating these raised patches are called plaques. Plaques usually show up on elbows, knees, and the lower back, and they can last for months or even years without treatment.
Don’t Miss: Is Head And Shoulders Good For Psoriasis
Eczema Vs Psoriasis: Whats Causing My Itchy Skin
If you or a loved one has patches of red, dry and itchy skin that may even come and go, you may be wondering is it eczema or psoriasis? Or are these two conditions the same thing? Theyre not. Eczema and psoriasis are two distinct skin diseases that may require different treatment plans. Thats why its important to speak to your healthcare provider to get the right diagnosis.
While they may be difficult to tell apart, a dermatologist can spot the differences between these two non-contagious and common skin conditions:
- Plaque psoriasis, the most common type of psoriasis, causes well-defined, thick, silvery-white scaly patches, commonly found on areas like the elbows, knees, the scalp and lower back.
- Atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema, may look slightly different in children and adults. Eczema is typically very itchy in all who are affected. In children, it appears as a dry or scaly, red rash, often in the creases of the elbows or knees. Adults tend to have patches of thicker or more chronic scaly skin rashes in similar areas as children, but are most noticeable on the face or hands.