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Types of Psoriasis: Different Symptoms and Effects

Types of Psoriasis: Different Symptoms and Effects

Story at-a-glance -

  • There are five types of psoriasis, all with different symptoms and effects
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis can result in protein and fluid loss, severe illness, and even life-threatening infections, pneumonia and congestive heart failure

Did you know that psoriasis is not just one type of skin disease? There are actually five types1 of psoriasis — all with different symptoms and effects, but equally irritating.

Plaque Psoriasis

Patients with plaque psoriasis notice the development of raised, red and inflamed lesions with a silvery and white scale on their elbows, knees, scalp and lower back. This is actually the most common type of psoriasis, with 80 percent of patients experiencing this condition.2 It is also known as “psoriasis vulgaris” (vulgaris means “common”).3

Inverse Psoriasis

This is characterized by the appearance of red lesions that look smooth and shiny, without a silvery and white scale. The lesions are typically found in the armpits, groin, buttocks, under the breasts and on skin folds around the genitals.4 These folds are called flexures, which is why this condition is sometimes called “flexural psoriasis.”5

Two risk factors that could prompt inverse psoriasis are having deep skin folds and being overweight, so people who fall under these categories should be aware. It is also important to avoid irritation caused by rubbing and sweating, since this could worsen the lesions in the skin folds and tender areas.6

Nail Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis sees the fingernails and toenails take a sudden, drastic change in appearance. They can turn green, yellow or brown, and will most likely have red or white spots underneath. In addition, chalky white material can build up under the nail, causing it to lift from the skin.7

Facial Psoriasis

Psoriasis on the face appears as red, dry patches on the skin. There are three subtypes to this condition:8

  • Hairline psoriasis: This affects your hairline only, and is considered an extension of scalp psoriasis.
  • Sebo-psoriasis: This targets the eyelids, eyebrows, nasolabial folds and beard area, with the patches having a salmon pink color.
  • True facial psoriasis: These refer to sharply demarcated red, scaly plaques that form anywhere on the face.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Unlike the first two types of psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis is inflammatory, leading to large parts of your body turning into a bright red color. An imbalance in your body’s chemistry is said to be the main cause of this type of psoriasis.9 However, don’t count out these triggers emphasized by the National Psoriasis Foundation:10

Abrupt withdrawal of systemic treatment

Severe sunburn

Allergic-drug induced rash that may lead to the Koebner phenomenon (tendency for psoriasis to appear in locations of skin injuries)

Use of systemic steroids or cortisone


Emotional stress


The people who are most prone to erythrodermic psoriasis are those who experience unstable plaque psoriasis, and have lesions that aren’t clearly well-defined. Aside from massive reddening on your body, this condition exhibits the following symptoms:

  • Exfoliation (shedding of the skin)
  • Severe itching and pain
  • Edema or swelling because of fluid retention, especially around the ankles
  • Difficulty of the body in regulating temperature, resulting in shivering

Erythrodermic psoriasis can result in protein and fluid loss, severe illness, and even life-threatening infections, pneumonia and congestive heart failure.11

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Guttate Psoriasis

This type will often manifest in children or young adults. According to Medical News Today, guttate psoriasis is characterized by small, red and individual spots on the skin, but they are not normally as thick or crusty compared to lesions among plaque psoriasis patients.12 Certain triggers can cause the development of these lesions, such as:13

Bacterial or viral infections that include upper respiratory and streptococcal14 infections



Skin injuries such as cuts, burns and insect bites

Drugs such as anti-malarials, lithium and beta-blockers

Excessive alcohol intake

Pustular Psoriasis

The patient will develop white blisters, or blisters containing noninfectious pus, surrounded by red skin. These pustules tend to appear either in certain parts of the body, such as your hands and feet, or over most your body.15 You can be affected with any of these three types of pustular psoriasis:16

  • Von Zumbusch
  • Palmoplantar pustolosis (PPP)
  • Acropustulosis

Pustular psoriasis typically imitates a cycle wherein the skin reddens first, with pustules and scaling appearing afterward. However, it’s not an infection, nor is it contagious. This type of psoriasis is also uncommon, and only makes up a mere 5 percent of all psoriasis cases. Pustular psoriasis also affects adults more than children.17


Psoriasis: Introduction

What Is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis In Children

Psoriasis Versus Eczema

Psoriatic Arthritis

Is Psoriasis Contagious?

Psoriasis Causes

Psoriasis Types

Psoriasis Symptoms

Psoriasis Treatment

Psoriasis Prevention

Psoriasis Diet

Celebrities With Psoriasis

Psoriasis FAQ

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