If you’re concerned that you or someone you know has psoriasis, be on the lookout for these symptoms. While the signs could vary from one person to another due to the many types of psoriasis, here are some of the most common ones to be wary of:1
✓Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales
✓Small scaling spots (these are typically seen in children)
✓Dry cracked skin that could bleed
✓Itching, burning or soreness
✓Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
✓Swollen and stiff joints
Patches typically associated with psoriasis range from appearing like a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major outbreaks that cover large areas. Meanwhile, these plaques usually come in cycles, where they flare first for a few weeks or months, then become subdued for a time or even go into remission.2
Where Does Psoriasis Appear on Your Body?
Psoriasis can manifest anywhere in your body. Some of the areas where you can commonly spot the symptoms of this condition include:3
• Scalp: psoriasis in the scalp can range from mild (slight, fine scaling) to very severe (presence of thick, crusted plaque spread all throughout the entire scalp).
Plus, the condition can even extend beyond your hairline and onto your forehead, back of the neck and/or around the ears. It’s said that at least half of psoriasis patients experience scalp problems.4
• Face: the eyebrows, skin between the nose and the upper lip, upper forehead and hairline are the areas most prone to facial psoriasis. However, the eyelids may also be affected, with the scales covering the lashes and the edges of the eyelids becoming red and crusty.
Meanwhile, scales could also build up on your ears, blocking the ear canal and even leading to temporary hair loss.5 Compared to other body parts, the skin on your face is sensitive, so make sure to exercise caution when treating psoriasis in this area.
• Hands, Feet and Nails: skin cracks, blisters and swelling typically accompany psoriasis flare-ups in the hands and feet. Meanwhile, psoriasis can result in nail changes in at least 50 percent of psoriasis patients and 80 percent of psoriatic arthritis patients, and these include:6
◦ Pitting (shallow or deep holes in the nails)
◦ Deformations (changes to the normal shape of the nail)
◦ Nail thickening
◦ Onycholysis (separation of the nail from the nail bed)
◦ Nail discoloration
• Genitals: smooth, dry and red lesions first appear on your genitals. If left untreated, this results in the onset of inverse psoriasis, the most common type of psoriasis in the genital area. Some of the regions of the genital area where psoriasis is most likely to be occur are:7
✓ Pubis (region above the genitals)
✓ Upper thighs
✓ Creases between thigh and groin
✓ Anus and the surrounding skin
✓ Buttocks crease
• Skin Folds: just like your genitals, skin folds on your armpits and under the breasts can be affected by inverse psoriasis. Frequent irritation because of rubbing and sweating can trigger this condition.
Although there is only one disease that wreaks havoc on your body, different treatments are required for psoriasis depending on the body part where the symptoms manifest. As an example, this means that the remedy for psoriasis on the scalp may be different from the remedy for facial psoriasis because the skin composition varies from one body part to another.8
Methods Used to Diagnose Psoriasis
It is crucial that you consult a physician immediately if you experience any of the psoriasis symptoms mentioned earlier, or any of these other hallmarks:9
• Progression of the disease beyond the nuisance stage, where it causes discomfort and pain
• Difficulty in performing tasks
• Increase in concerns about skin appearance
• Development of joint problems such as pain, swelling or inability to do daily tasks
In order to diagnose psoriasis, a physician may perform a:10
• Physical exam and inquiries on medical history: your physician can check if you have psoriasis by examining your skin, scalp and nails. He or she will also be taking note of your medical history, as there is a possible link11 between this skin condition and your genes.
• Skin biopsy: this involves taking a small sample of skin, or biopsy, and then examining it under a microscope. This allows your physician to learn the exact type of psoriasis you might have, as well as rule out other skin conditions. This test could be done at your physician’s office after applying a local anesthetic.
It’s no secret that psoriasis could not only cause massive lesions and scarring, but potentially hamper your confidence and disrupt your daily routines as well. Make it a point to check for any of the symptoms from time to time — who knows, this could make a difference for both quicker recovery and less health risks.