A Complete Guide To The 7 Types Of Psoriasis And Their Treatments

Psoriasis is not simply a chronic skin disorder. It is an autoimmune disease, meaning your immune system can harm your body instead of protecting it as it should. However, as strange as it may sound, psoriasis is more common than you’d think. Nearly 7.4 million people in the United States have this condition.

This condition comes in many forms. There are seven different types of psoriasis: Plaque, Guttate, Pustular, Inverse, Erythrodermic Psoriasis, Nail, and Scalp. 

Today, we’ll look at each type, and I have an exciting surprise for you at the end of this article! So, keep on reading to find out more.

Types of Psoriasis

Generally speaking, most types of psoriasis have many symptoms in common, including dry patches, itchiness, and swelling. Still, there are some differences that we should take into account for each type of psoriasis.

Each type can vary in severity, location, and appearance. Luckily, we have plenty of treatments to help control psoriasis and flare-ups. But before we delve into each type, let’s see what exactly psoriasis is as a whole.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that promotes the rapid growth of skin cells. When this occurs, skin grows faster than dead skin cells are shed, ultimately forming thick, scaly patches.

There are several types of psoriasis, and most are usually mild to moderate. Yet, some can be more severe. For instance, people with psoriasis may initially get just one type and develop others later in time.

And now, here are the seven types of psoriasis:

#1 Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis, or psoriasis vulgaris, is the most common type. Typically distinguished by thick red patches of skin and a silver scaly layer, plaque psoriasis is so common nearly 80 to 90 percent of patients with psoriasis have this type. So, 8 out of 10 people with psoriasis have it.

This type of psoriasis patches, usually 1 to 3 inches wide, frequently appear on the elbows, knees, scalp, and back. But, sometimes, these patches can cover the entire body.

Symptoms include:

  • Dry skin.
  • Silvery itchy scales.
  • Pitted or ridged nails.

Avoiding scratching the scales is recommended, because if you do, the symptoms will get worse. Treatment of plaque psoriasis varies depending on the symptoms. However, conventional medicine treatment normally includes ointments and light therapy.

In many cases, medicines are indicated when the body doesn’t respond to natural treatments. Doctors often prescribe steroids to slow skin cell growth and decrease inflammation.

#2 Guttate psoriasis

The second most common type of psoriasis is guttate psoriasis, affecting around 8 percent of psoriasis patients. It consists of small, drop-shaped red spots on the skin, and most times, it starts during childhood or adolescence.

Gutatte spots often appear on the torso and limbs and sometimes the face and scalp. And while gutatte spots are not as thick as plaque psoriasis, they can develop into plaque psoriasis over time.

This type occurs after specific triggers, such as stress, skin injury, an infection, or an allergy, and can appear on the upper arms, thighs, chest, and scalp.

It is characterized by red, purple, or dark spots on the skin, guttate psoriasis often starts during childhood or adolescence after an infection. Fortunately, it may disappear without treatment after some time. If not, further treatment is required.

#3 Pustular psoriasis

Pustular psoriasis is a severe form of psoriasis consisting of many white pustules surrounded by red skin in isolated body areas, especially the hands and feet. Sometimes, it may cover the entire body. When this “generalized” pustular psoriasis occurs, seek immediate medical attention.

While the pus-filled pustules may look infectious, they are not. Still, they can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, headaches, and muscle weakness. Some of the triggers that may cause pustular psoriasis are stress, medicine, infection, exposure to certain chemicals or UV ray exposure, and pregnancy.

Pustular psoriasis has different treatments, varying from corticosteroid creams, oral medications, and light therapy. This condition is so rare there are not many treatments, but doctors usually recommend topical ointments, oral medications, and AIP.

#4 Inverse psoriasis

Inverse psoriasis is relatively uncommon, comprising only 2% to 6% of all psoriasis cases. This type of psoriasis often appears as salmon-red patches in skin folds, such as the armpits.

Occasionally misdiagnosed as a fungal or bacterial infection, inverse psoriasis lesions can often become contaminated with germs from the skin such as fungi and bacteria that further complicate the condition. For this reason, it’s important to receive a proper diagnosis.

#5 Erythrodermic psoriasis

Erythrodermic psoriasis is a rare type of psoriasis that looks like severe red and scaly burns that can derive into a medical emergency. Erythrodermic psoriasis can develop from pustular or plaque psoriasis, sunburn, infection, or stress. However, it only affects 1-2.25% of people with psoriasis.

Unlike other types, it can be a life-threatening condition, causing a wide area of inflamed, discolored skin that peels off with severe itching, pain, or a faster heart rate, fever, and swelling. People with erythrodermic psoriasis are prone to infection and other serious problems, such as heart failure and pneumonia.

Erythrodermic treatments range from topical and oral medication, fluid replacement, and systemic medications, depending on their severity to reduce the immune system’s response. In mild cases, topical creams can suffice.

#6 Nail psoriasis

Often confused with fungal and nail infections, nail psoriasis is common among people with psoriasis. Half of the patients with psoriasis have it, especially those with psoriatic arthritis.

Symptoms include:

  • Nail pitting.
  • Tender, painful nails.
  • Yellow-brown coloration.
  • Chalk-like material under the nails

Nail psoriasis can cause discoloration, crumbling, colored patches, and pitting. In severe cases, the nail can fall off. Some treatments help improve the condition, including AIP and ointments.

#7 Scalp psoriasis

Although it may seem obvious, scalp psoriasis occurs on the scalp. However, it can appear in other areas as well. Depending on the triggers, symptoms include itching, dry scalp, bleeding scalp, temporary hair loss, and dandruff.

Treatments are often combined due to side effects, including hair loss and infections from excessive scratching. Treatments include salicylic acid and UV phototherapy.

How Your Diet Affects Psoriasis

You are what you eat. There’s no doubt about it. However, for some of us, it can be trickier. Autoimmune disease patients often struggle with inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy. But, there’s a solution!

The Autoimmune Procol Diet (AIP) helps reduce systemic inflammation by treating the immune system’s response. AIP can improve all types of autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s, Eczema, Arthritis, and yes, you guessed it, all types of psoriasis.

AIP reduces inflammation. So, if your psoriasis is flaring, or you want to reduce (or even eliminate) your psoriasis, then you must try AIP.

And I have GREAT NEWS… 

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The 2022 AIP SUMMIT takes place during January 3-9, 2022. It’s a virtual hub where 35 AIP Certified coaches, doctors, researchers, registered dieticians, licensed psychologists, and more AIP specialists gather to share their thoughts and knowledge about AIP and autoimmune diseases. 

Grab the opportunity to learn all you need to know to get started with AIP and improve your health, keep your psoriasis under control, and in some cases, even cure it!

Ready to transform your life in 2022?

Sign up for FREE for the 2022 AIP SUMMIT, where I’ll be speaking on January 9th about How to Calm Your Psoriasis using the Lifestyle Elements of AIP

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