Guest Post: How to Identify Your Form of Psoriasis

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Today’s Guest Post comes to us from Valerie Johnston of Healthline. Valerie is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news. 

For those who are afflicted by psoriasis, an important step in their treatment regimen is to identify which variant of the disease they are suffering from. The types of the condition are differentiated not only by their appearance on a person’s skin, but also by the length of time for which the symptoms persist, and the means by which they must be treated. This is why it is important to know which type of the disease you have; before you identify your variant, it will be impossible to treat the disease and resolve your symptoms.

Where Are Your Outbreaks? 

The first thing to consider is the location of the irritation on your body. Sometimes, your particular form of psoriasis can be identified simply by its location. For example, nail psoriasis only occurs around or under the fingernails and toenails. Pustular psoriasis tends to occur on the hands and feet. If your outbreaks are occurring on areas of your body where there is skin-on-skin contact, they are probably caused by inverse psoriasis. The “inverse” form of the disease results from the heat, moisture, and chafing that are present in areas like the armpits and pelvic region. If you have markings on your chest or back, there is an excellent chance that the culprit is guttate psoriasis. The most common form of the disease, plaque psoriasis, is typically found on a person’s arms and legs. Knowing which areas of the body your outbreaks affect will help you narrow down the types of the condition from which you may be suffering.

What Does Your Psoriasis Look Like? 

Usually, when people have psoriasis, the disease is characterized by raised, red patches of skin which are sometimes covered by a thin sheen of white or silver skin. This thick, itchy form of the condition is plaque psoriasis. Guttate psoriasis, the second most common form, is not as thick as plaque psoriasis, nor does it cause the deep red coloring that the more common version of the disease has. The markings it causes are generally smaller, not raised, and have a light pink color, rather than the deep red coloring seen on patients who have the most common form of the disorder.

If your outbreaks are characterized by raised, white bumps which are surrounded by areas of red skin, then you are probably suffering from pustular psoriasis. With this version, you may notice small amounts of fluid leaking from the raised, white areas. This is the pus from which this form derives its name. It is unsightly but entirely harmless. When skin affected by outbreaks is light pink, smooth, and shiny, the cause is typically inverse psoriasis. The markings get their smooth, shiny texture from the skin-on-skin contact that causes them. Whereas other forms of the condition, like the plaque and guttate versions, look rough and raw, the irritation caused by this form is worn down and smoothed out by constant skin contact.If you have nail psoriasis, it can be difficult to distinguish from fungal infections of the nails. Typically, this version of the disease results in red-colored areas of skin under and around a patient’s toenails, deterioration of the nails’ condition, and a thickening of the skin under and closest to the nails. In general, these outbreaks are accompanied by one other form of the condition somewhere else on the body. So if you are unsure whether you have this condition or simply a commonplace fungal infection under your nails, check whether you are experiencing psoriasis of another form somewhere else. If so, odds are good that you have nail psoriasis, too.

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