Psoriasis Overview

Psoriasis Symptoms and Types

There are five different types of psoriasis, which all have different symptoms. The most common type is plaque psoriasis, which manifests in the form of red patches covered in white or silver scales. These patches are composed of skin cells the body normally sheds. People with plaque psoriasis often develop these patches on the elbows and knees, but they can form anywhere on the body [source: National Psoriasis Foundation].

The second most common type of psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, is a form of the disease that often starts in childhood. This type of psoriasis comes on quickly in the form of small red bumps and covers the body from the neck down. A variety of conditions can bring on an attack of guttate psoriasis, including upper respiratory infections, strep throat, tonsillitis and stress [source: National Psoriasis Foundation].

There are three types of pustular psoriasis: von Zumbusch, palmoplantar pustulosis and acropustulosis. Von Zumbusch psoriasis begins with painful, red skin. Pustules follow within a few hours, and these dry and peel during the next two days, giving the skin a glazed appearance. This type of psoriasis can be triggered by certain medications or pregnancy and can cause fever, anemia and dehydration [source: National Psoriasis Foundation]. People experiencing symptoms of von Zumbusch psoriasis should see a doctor immediately because this type of psoriasis can cause heart or lung failure if left untreated [source: eMedicineHealth]. Palmoplantar pustulosis causes pustules on the palms of hands and soles of feet, which turn brown and peel. It occurs mostly in past and current smokers and doesn't necessarily go away when a person quits smoking [source: American Osteopathic College of Dermatology]. Acropustulosis is an extremely rare type of pustular psoriasis that causes skin lesions to form on fingers and toes. These lesions are painful and can cause deformity of the nails and even changes in bone structure [source: National Psoriasis Foundation].

Inverse psoriasis is the fourth type of the disease, and it affects areas where skin folds, such as the armpits and genitals. Red plaques form in the folds, causing the skin to become tender and irritated [source: National Psoriasis Foundation].

The fifth and most rare type of psoriasis is erythrodermic psoriasis, which causes protein and fluid loss that can lead to infection, pneumonia and congestive heart failure. Symptoms include severe redness, excessive shedding of skin, itching, increased heart rate and fluctuating body temperature. People experiencing the symptoms of erythrodermic psoriasis should see a doctor immediately [source: National Psoriasis Foundation].

Read on to learn about psoriasis treatments.