Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition in which the body produces too many skin cells. In plaque psoriasis, the most common type, the extra skin cells accumulate on the skin’s surface to create a rough, scaly, itchy texture.

Types of Psoriasis and their Symptoms

  • Plaque psoriasis. The most common form of psoriasis usually appears on elbows, knees and scalp. It causes silver scales and red patches.
  • Inverse psoriasis. This condition causes highly irritated patches of shiny skin that usually occur below the arms, in the genital area or under the breasts.
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis. A very rare and dangerous form of psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis causes widespread red skin and large patches of shedding scales.
  • Guttate psoriasis. Children are more likely than adults to suffer from this type of psoriasis, which causes tiny pink spots on the upper body and legs.
  • Pustular psoriasis. Adults are more likely than children to get pustular psoriasis, which causes rough red skin and pus-filled bumps. Though this condition can develop anywhere on the body, many patients experience it on their hands or feet.
  • Scalp psoriasis, Scalp psoriasis causes scaly red patches on the scalp. The scales often itch and can cause temporary hair loss, but sometimes no major symptoms occur.
  • Nail psoriasis. This kind of psoriasis affects the nails only. It can soften them, causing indentations and other damage, including crumbling.

Common Areas for Psoriasis

  • Hands.
  • Feet.
  • Neck.
  • Scalp.
  • Face.

Risk Factors

The cause of psoriasis is unknown, though the following risk factors may trigger it:

  • Family history of psoriasis.
  • Weakened immune system.
  • Previous skin injuries.
  • Use of certain medications, including lithium.
  • Smoking tobacco.
  • Alcohol use.
  • Heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

Common Psoriasis Triggers

  • Stress.
  • Alcohol.
  • Medications.
  • Infection.
  • Smoking.
  • Injury.

Psoriasis Complications

If left untreated, psoriasis can cause one the following conditions:

  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Psoriatic arthritis.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Make an appointment at Pensacola Dermatology, where a board-certified dermatologist can perform a skin exam. In rare cases, a skin biopsy may also be necessary.

There is no “one size fits all” solution for psoriasis. The treatment will depend on the type of psoriasis, as well as the patient’s symptoms and individual needs. Treatment types include:

  • Topical Treatments, including solutions, lotions, creams and ointments that you apply directly to the affected parts of your skin.
  • Light therapy, which delivers ultraviolet A, ultraviolet B, or a combination of the two, to your skin to encourage healing. This treatment may also be combined with other treatments, such as topical treatments.
  • Systemic treatments, including oral tablets, capsules and injected substances.


Psoriasis has no cure and is likely to return. However, treatments can significantly reduce your symptoms and the number of flare-ups. If diagnosed early, psoriasis can be treated before the worst symptoms develop. Contact Pensacola Dermatology for an appointment.  

Psoriasis | American Academy of Dermatology. (2018). Aad.org. Retrieved 21 December 2018, from https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/scaly-skin/psoriasis/psoriasis

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