psoriasis is a long-lasting, noncontagious autoimmune disease characterized by raised areas of abnormal skin. These areas are red, pink, or purple, dry, itchy, and scaly. Psoriasis varies in severity from small, localized patches to complete body coverage. Injury to the skin can trigger psoriatic skin changes at that spot, which is known as the Koebner phenomenon.
It is the result of a sped-up skin production process. Typically, skin cells grow deep in your skin and slowly rise to the surface. Eventually, they fall off. The typical life cycle of a skin cell is 1 month.
In people with psoriasis, this production process may occur in just a few days. Because of this, skin cells don’t have time to fall off. This rapid overproduction leads to the buildup of skin cells.
Types of Psoriasis
- Pustular psoriasis: It causes red and scaly skin with minute pustules on palms and soles.
- Guttate psoriasis: It starts in childhood or early adulthood and causes small, red spots on the torso and limbs.
- Inverse psoriasis: which makes bright red, shiny lesions that appear in skin folds, such as the armpits, groin, and under the breasts.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis: It causes redness of the skin, and leads to the shedding of scales in sheets. It is stimulated by severe burns, infections, and medications and needs to be treated immediately as it might lead to severe illness.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
- A patchy rash that varies widely in how it looks from person to person, ranging from spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions over much of the body
- Rashes that vary in color, tending to be shades of purple with grayscale on brown or Black skin and pink or red with the silver scale on white skin
- Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
- Itching, burning, or soreness
- Cyclic rashes that flare for a few weeks or months and then subside
It tends to run in families, but it may skip generations. For instance, a grandfather and their grandson may be affected, but not the child’s mother.
- Cuts, scrapes, or surgery
- Emotional stress
- Strep infections
- Medications include blood pressure medications, anti-malarial drugs, lithium, other mood stabilizers, antibiotics, and NSAIDs.