Psoriasis Home > Symptoms of Psoriasis

Common symptoms of psoriasis often include patches of thick, inflamed skin covered with silvery scales. Although symptoms can occur on the skin anywhere on the body, they most often occur on the elbows, knees, and other parts of the legs. It's important to keep in mind that there are several types of psoriasis, and each type can have different psoriasis symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis: An Overview

In the typical form of psoriasis, symptoms include patches of thick, red (inflamed) skin covered with silvery scales. These patches, sometimes referred to as plaques, are usually itchy or feel sore.
 

Where Do Psoriasis Symptoms Occur?

Psoriasis can occur on skin anywhere on the body, but most often occur on the:
 
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Other parts of the legs
  • Scalp
  • Lower back
  • Face
  • Palms
  • Soles of the feet.
     
Psoriasis symptoms may also affect the:
 
  • Fingernails
  • Toenails
  • Soft tissues of the genitals
  • Inside of the mouth.
      

Symptoms Based on the Type of Psoriasis

There are several types of psoriasis; each type can have different symptoms. Some of these forms of psoriasis include:
 
  • Plaque psoriasis. Skin lesions are red at the base and covered by silvery scales.
     
  • Guttate psoriasis. Small, drop-shaped lesions appear on the trunk, limbs, and scalp. Guttate psoriasis is most often triggered by upper respiratory infections (for example, a sore throat caused by streptococcal bacteria).
     
  • Pustular psoriasis. Blisters of noninfectious pus appear on the skin. Attacks of pustular psoriasis may be triggered by medications, infections, stress, or exposure to certain chemicals.
     
  • Inverse psoriasis. Smooth, red patches occur in the folds of the skin near the genitals, under the breasts, or in the armpits. The symptoms of psoriasis may be worsened by friction and sweating.
     
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis. Widespread reddening and scaling of the skin may be a reaction to severe sunburn or to taking corticosteroids (cortisone) or other medications. It can also be caused by a prolonged period of increased activity of psoriasis that is poorly controlled.

 

Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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