- Psoriasis Slideshow: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
- Psoriasis Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
- Moderate to Severe Forms of Psoriasis Slideshow
- Psoriasis FAQs
- Patient Comments: Psoriasis - Effective Treatments
- Patient Comments: Psoriasis - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Scalp Psoriasis - Creams and Lotions
- Patient Comments: Psoriasis - Diet
- Find a local Dermatologist in your town
- Psoriasis facts
- What is psoriasis?
- What are psoriasis causes and risk factors?
- What are the different types of psoriasis?
- Can psoriasis affect my joints?
- Can psoriasis affect only my nails?
- What are psoriasis symptoms and signs? What does psoriasis look like?
- How do health care professionals diagnose psoriasis?
- Eczema vs. psoriasis
- How many people have psoriasis?
- Is psoriasis contagious?
- Is there a cure for psoriasis?
- Is psoriasis hereditary?
- What health care specialists treat psoriasis?
- What are psoriasis treatment options?
- What creams, lotions, and home remedies are available for psoriasis?
- Are psoriasis shampoos available?
- What oral medications are available for psoriasis?
- What injections or infusions are available for psoriasis?
- Is there a psoriasis diet?
- What about light therapy for psoriasis?
- What is the long-term prognosis with psoriasis? What are complications of psoriasis?
- Is it possible to prevent psoriasis?
- What does the future hold for psoriasis?
- Is there a national psoriasis support group?
- Where can people get more information on psoriasis?
Quick GuidePsoriasis Types, Images, Treatments
What are psoriasis symptoms and signs? What does psoriasis look like?
Plaque psoriasis signs and symptoms appear as red or pink small scaly bumps that merge into plaques of raised skin. Plaque psoriasis classically affects skin over the elbows, knees, and scalp and is often itchy. Although any area may be involved, plaque psoriasis tends to be more common at sites of friction, scratching, or abrasion. Sometimes pulling off one of these small dry white flakes of skin causes a tiny blood spot on the skin. This is a special diagnostic sign in psoriasis called the Auspitz sign.
Fingernails and toenails often exhibit small pits (pinpoint depressions) and/or larger yellowish-brown separations of the nail from the nail bed at the fingertip called distal onycholysis. Nail psoriasis may be confused with and incorrectly diagnosed as a fungal nail infection.
Symptoms and signs of guttate psoriasis include bumps or small plaques (½ inch or less) of red itchy, scaling skin that may be present over large parts of the skin surface, simultaneously, after a sore throat.
In inverse psoriasis, genital lesions, especially in the groin and on the head of the penis, are common. Psoriasis in moist areas like the navel or the area between the buttocks (intergluteal folds) may look like flat red plaques without much scaling. This may be confused with other skin conditions like fungal infections, yeast infections, skin rash, or bacterial infections.
Symptoms and signs of pustular psoriasis include at rapid onset of groups of small bumps filled with pus on the torso. Patients are often systemically ill and have a fever.
Erythrodermic psoriasis appears as extensive areas of red skin often involving the entire skin surface. Patients may often feel chilled.
Scalp psoriasis may look like severe dandruff with dry flakes and red areas of skin. It can be difficult to differentiate between scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis when only the scalp is involved. However, the treatment is often very similar for both conditions.
How do health care professionals diagnose psoriasis?
The diagnosis of psoriasis is typically made by obtaining information from the physical examination of the skin, medical history, and relevant family health history.
Sometimes lab tests, including a microscopic examination of tissue obtained from a skin biopsy, may be necessary.