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Types of Psoriasis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

This is a chronic inflammatory disorder. Psoriasis is considered to be an autoimmune disease. That is to say that your immune system harms your body instead of protecting it.

It causes healthy skin to turn over at a very fast rate leading to cell buildup at the outmost part of the skin that is seen as rashes.

They can appear on any part of the body and is not contagious regardless of the type. There are different types of psoriasis but the most common is the Plaque psoriasis.

It is a chronic condition that cannot be cured but there are different ways in which the symptoms can be managed. There are simple measures, oral medications and also therapy.


Psoriasis causes different symptoms such as;

Types of Psoriasis

There are different types of psoriasis. They include;

  1. Inverse psoriasis
  2. Plaque psoriasis
  3. Guttate psoriasis
  4. Pustular psoriasis
  5. Erythrodermic psoriasis
  6. Scalp psoriasis
  7. Nail psoriasis
  8. Psoriatic arthritis.

Inverse Psoriasis

It is also called intertriginous psoriasis. It often occurs in skin folds such as the armpit, under the breast or the groin area. This type of psoriasis is red and shiny other than dry and scaly.

This psoriasis is oftentimes misdiagnosed as a bacterial or fungal infection. Some people with this psoriasis also have a different form of psoriasis in other parts of the body.


Steroid creams, light therapy and oral medications can be used in this type of psoriasis. You will benefit from applying medications that reduce yeast or bacteria growth.

Plaque Psoriasis

This is the most common form of psoriasis. About 80% of people with psoriasis have the plague psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is characterized by well defined red patches of skin covered with a silver or white scaly layer.

Oftentimes, these patches appear on the knees and elbow but it can virtually form anywhere including the scalp.


It is recommended to apply moisturizers to keep the skin from becoming too dry. The moisturizer could be an ointment-based moisturizer. The trigger of this psoriasis could also include a lack of sleep or stress.

  • Medication like Tazorac could also be used.
  • Vitamin D creams can also be used and Rocaltrol so as to reduce the rate at which skin cells grow.
  • Application of coal tar either by oil or shampoo.

With severe cases, you may be prescribed systematic medication in the form of oral or injectable medication.

Guttate Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis is often triggered by a viral or bacterial infection such as strep. It could also be triggered by stress.

It is more common with children and people under the age of 30.

Guttate psoriasis appears in small red spots on the skin. It is characterized by pink teardrop-shaped bumps. These bumps often appear on the limbs, scalp and face.


An oral medication, a steroid cream or light therapy treatment is given in this case depending on the cause of the infection. If it is caused by a bacterial infection then antibiotics may help.

Pustular Psoriasis

This is a severe form of psoriasis. It produces lesions filled with non-contagious fluid made of white blood cells. It affects isolated areas of the skin such as the hands and feet.
There are 3 kinds of pustular psoriasis. They include;

  • Von Zumbusch: This is a very rare and serious form of the condition. This version affects larger areas of the body and it is characterized by red skin and pus-filled blisters. Its symptoms include fever, dehydration and chills. The condition can be fatal if not treated properly.
  • Acropustulosis
  • Palmoplantar pustulosis(PPP)


  • Pustular psoriasis is treated depending on the size of the affected area.
  • Large patches need treatment with light therapy and oral medications. Smaller patches are often treated with prescriptions.
  • Treating underlying causes might also help reduce the recurrence of pustular psoriasis.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis

This condition occurs when the whole body turns bright red and scaly.

Erythrodermic psoriasis is very serious and you may end up being hospitalized because your body may not be able to control the body temperature

A skin biopsy may be needed to distinguish erythrodermic psoriasis from other diseases. This version of psoriasis is developed by sunburn, infection, stress and even alcoholism.


  • It can be treated from the combination of therapies.
  • Application of oral medications until symptoms start improving.
  • Methotrexate along with intravenous(IV) antibiotics and fluids to prevent infection and dehydration.

Scalp Psoriasis

This version of the disease is common with people with plaque psoriasis. It affects the ear, face, neck and even the forehead.

For some people, it is painful and very noticeable at the hairline and for others it causes dandruff.

It can be very difficult to diagnose and treat. Even when diagnosed, it is very difficult to apply medication to thick areas of hair.


Topical treatments are commonly used for scalp psoriasis. They may require regular maintenance. The options for treatment include;

  • Anti-itch creams
  • Medicated shampoos to prevent fungal infections
  • Application of vitamin D known as Calcipotriene
  • Tar preparation

Depending on how you respond to treatments, oral medication may also be recommended.

Nail Psoriasis

Nail psoriasis is not an official type of psoriasis. It is a manifestation of plaque psoriasis and can be confused with other infections of the nail.

In this psoriasis, the fingernails tend to be more affected than the toenails.

Nail psoriasis causes white patches on nail plates, thickened skin under the nail, discolouration and even nail pitting. There is no cure for nail psoriasis but treatment may improve the appearance.


It is difficult to see the effect of the treatment on nail psoriasis because nails grow very slowly. The treatments include;

  • Oral medications such as methotrexate
  • Light therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections(used in severe cases)

Psoriatic Arthritis

This condition affects between 10 and 30 per cent of people with psoriasis. It is a very painful and physically limiting condition.

It is an autoimmune disease so it can trigger the body to attack the joints and the skin. Its symptoms include foot pain, joint stiffness, swollen fingers of toes.


  • Non-biologic DMARDs These medicines slow the disease process by modifying the immune system.
  • Methotrexate is the most commonly prescribed non-biologic DMARD for psoriatic arthritis treatment.
  • Methotrexate is an effective immune system suppressor and can treat accompanying psoriasis as well as arthritis.

Coping with Psoriasis

Types of Psoriasis

People who deal with this disease have an increased risk of anxiety and depression. You can benefit from therapy where you will be able to meet people with similar conditions.

You can also talk with your healthcare provider about seeing a therapist who has experience with psoriasis. They’ll be able to help identify ways to cope.


Emmanuel Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuel Eguono is a mass communicator and fashion designer. When he is not behind a laptop screen or on a sewing machine, he spends his time netflixing and swimming.

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