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All You Need To Know About Psoriasis

Medically reviewed by John Paul Abrina, MD · Oncology · Davao Doctors Hospital

Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos · Updated Nov 09, 2021

All You Need To Know About Psoriasis

Types of Psoriasis

Your skin is the largest organ of your body which plays essential roles like generating vitamin D, preventing dehydration, and maintaining your body temperature.

It’s also constantly exposed to the elements and to bacteria, which makes it prone to infection and inflammation. 

One common skin condition is psoriasis. Data shows that 125 million people suffer from psoriasis worldwide.

If you have this skin condition or if you suspect that you do, it’s best to gather the most information about it.

Learning more about the psoriasis causes and cures can be the first step to making the necessary lifestyle changes for your overall health and well-being.

But before we learn more about psoriasis causes and cures, let’s first define this skin condition.

What is Psoriasis? 

Psoriasis is a long-term autoimmune, skin condition that results in rapid skin cell production. This causes them to pile up and create patches on the skin. 

Psoriasis can appear on any part of the body, but it most commonly affects the areas, such as:

  • Knees
  • Elbow
  • Scalp

Patches on the skin caused by psoriasis appear to be dry and scaly, and usually burns or stings.

However, the patches can alternatively flare up and subside for some periods.

Types of psoriasis differ based on how they look and where they appear on the body. 

However, it’s possible for one person to develop more than one kind of psoriasis.

Types of Psoriasis

There are several types of psoriasis that appear on different parts of the body.

Your healthcare provider will determine which type of psoriasis you have on your body in order to determine which type of treatment will be best for you.

Below are the types of psoriasis and their individual characteristics:

Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is the most prevalent type of psoriasis. This disease appears as raised, red, and thick patches of skin covered with a silvery build-up of dead skin.

These patches differ in size and most often appear on the lower back, elbows, knees, or scalp. They patches often itch, and they can crack and bleed.

Guttate Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis is the second most common type, next to plaque psoriasis.

It’s characterized by multiple, small, and drop-shaped lesions that usually appear on a person’s trunk or limbs.

Guttate psoriasis mostly affects children or young adults. It’s usually triggered by a bacterial infection such as strep throat.

Inverse Psoriasis

Inverse psoriasis or intertriginous psoriasis usually affects folds of the body like the groin or buttocks.

It appears as very red and smooth lesions that worsens through friction or sweat.

Pustular Psoriasis

This rare form of psoriasis primarily affects the hands and feet, causing painful blisters and scaly skin that’s easily prone to cracking

Erythrodermic Psoriasis

This type of psoriasis is the most uncommon yet most dangerous type of psoriasis causing the most areas of the skin to appear extremely red and “burnt”.

Erythrodermic psoriasis can be life-threatening if left untreated because it can cause pneumonia or congestive heart failure. 

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms can vary, depending on the type of psoriasis.

However, the most common signs and symptoms of psoriasis are the following:

  • Dry skin
  • Itchy skin that’s prone to cracking
  • Nails that appear to be thicker or ridged
  • Stiff joints
  • Skin that’s red and scaly


There are no special tests to determine if a person has psoriasis.

During a check-up, a dermatologist will usually examine the affected parts of your skin. 

Your dermatologist or healthcare provider may also take a sample of your affected skin. Then view it through a microscope.

Psoriasis skin will look more inflamed than a skin sample from a person with eczema.

Psoriasis Causes and Cures

The exact cause of psoriasis is still unknown up to this very day. However, scientists and doctors now know that a person’s immune system and genes can influence the development of psoriasis in a person. 

If someone in your family has psoriasis, then there’s a greater chance that you’ll develop this disease. But, psoriasis isn’t passed from one person to another because it’s not a communicable disease.

Psoriasis flare-ups are usually caused by triggers, such as:

  • Stress
  • Dry or cold climates
  • Alcohol consumption (especially excessive amounts)
  • Skin injuries
  • Infections
  • Smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke
  • Taking medications like lithium, prednisone, and hydroxychloroquine
  • If you’ve already been diagnosed with psoriasis, then the best way to prevent future flare-ups is to make the conscious decision to avoid your triggers. 

    How is Psoriasis Treated?

    Thankfully, there are a variety of treatments available for people suffering with psoriasis.

    These treatments alleviate some of the pain and discomfort caused by psoriasis lesions. However, psoriasis never really goes away once a person acquires this condition. 

    Options for treatment of psoriasis include:

    Topical Therapy

    This type of treatment involves medication that is applied to affected areas of the skin. The following topical medications can treat psoriasis:

    • Anthralin
    • Goeckerman therapy
    • Salicylic acid
    • Coal tar
    • Retinoids
    • Corticosteroids

    Note that topical treatment is usually the first choice in treating mild to moderate psoriasis. And for some people, it is enough to control the symptoms.

    Light Therapy

    Light therapy, also known as phototherapy involves exposure psoriasis-infected skin to prescribed amounts of UV light.

    A dermatologist may also advise you to get natural sunlight outdoors.

    Oral or Injected Medications

    This option is usually for severe cases of psoriasis that don’t respond to topical or light therapy. 

    Natural Remedies for Psoriasis

    There are also natural alternatives to treatment and medication for psoriasis.

    Not enough research has been done on the effectiveness of natural alternatives to psoriasis, but some might bring you relief. Below are some natural remedies for discomfort caused by psoriasis:

    Aloe Vera

    Aloe Verahas been used to relieve skin inflammation and redness. Some researches have shown that using aloe vera as a topical treatment may help scaly and dry skin caused by psoriasis. Ask your doctor for a gel or cream with 0.5%  aloe vera. 

    Apple Cider Vinegar 

    Using organic and diluted apple cider vinegar on psoriasis appearing on the scalp can help reduce itchiness and irritation. Just make sure to avoid using apple cider vinegar on areas of the skin where psoriasis has caused cracking or wounds.

    Dead Sea Salt

    Some reports have claimed that using Dead Sea or Epsom salt can help reduce the appearance of scales and itching caused by psoriasis. Just add the salt to warm bath water and soak your skin in it for about 15 minutes.

    Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes red, itchy, and scaly patches on the skin. If you suspect that you have psoriasis, it’s best to consult with your health practitioner before attempting to treat your affected skin.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    John Paul Abrina, MD

    Oncology · Davao Doctors Hospital

    Written by Ruby Anne Hornillos · Updated Nov 09, 2021

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