Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales. There are several types of psoriasis, including psoriasis vulgaris, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and pustular psoriasis. Symptoms vary depending on the type of psoriasis the patient has. Treatment of psoriasis may include creams, lotions, oral medications, injections and infusions of biologics, and light therapy. There is no cure for psoriasis. Read more: Psoriasis Article
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Skin Quiz: Acne, Dry Skin, Dandruff & More
What's that all over you? Skin, of course! Test your knowledge of your most amazing organ with the Skin Quiz!
Psoriasis Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the mystery out of psoriasis. Take the Psoriasis Quiz and see what you know about the types, symptoms, treatments and more.
Picture of Palmoplantar Pustulosis on Feet
Palmoplantar pustulosis, also referred to as pustular psoriasis of the soles of the feet. See a picture of Palmoplantar...
Picture of Palmoplantar Pustulosis
Palmoplantar pustulosis, also referred to as pustular psoriasis of the palms of the hands. See a picture of Palmoplantar...
Picture of Psoriasis 1
A reddish, scaly rash often located over the surfaces of the elbows, knees, scalp, and around or in the ears, navel, genitals or...
Picture of Psoriasis 2
More than one-quarter of all individuals with psoriasis develop their disease during childhood or adolescence. See a picture of...
Picture of Psoriasis 3
This figure shows the erythema, scaling, and thickening of portions of the thumb and soles that are very common in both children...
Picture of Psoriasis Vulgaris Soles
Well-demarcated, erythematous plaques with thick, yellowish lamellar scale and desquamation on sites of pressure arising on the...
Picture of Psoriasis Vulgaris Palms
Silvery-white scaly plaque, sharply demarcated, of irregular configuration. See a picture of Psoriasis Vulgaris Palms and learn...
Picture of Guttate Psoriasis
Guttate psoriasis is a type of psoriasis that looks like small, salmon-pink drops on the skin. See a picture of Guttate Psoriasis...
Picture of Inverse Psoriasis
Inverse psoriasis consists of bright red, smooth (not scaly) patches found in the folds of the skin. See a picture of Inverse...
Picture of Pustular Psoriasis
Pustular psoriasis is an uncommon form of psoriasis. See a picture of Pustular Psoriasis and learn more about the health topic.
Picture of Erythrodermic Psoriasis
This is the least common type of psoriasis and can be quite serious. See a picture of Erythrodermic Psoriasis and learn more...
Picture of Psoriasis of the Scalp
The scalp may have fine, dry, scaly skin or have heavily crusted plaque areas. See a picture of Psoriasis of the Scalp and learn...
Picture of Skin
The skin is the largest organ of the body, with a total area of about 20 square feet. See a picture of the Skin and learn more...
Picture of Psoriasis Vulgaris
Pinpoint pits and distal onycholysis (so-called "oil-spot" discoloration) are seen in the fingernails of a child with psoriasis....
Picture of Psoriasis Vulgaris Erythematous
Well-delineated erythematous plaque located on the elbow of a child with psoriasis.See a picture of Psoriasis Vulgaris...
Picture of Psoriasis Vulgaris Plaque
Well-delineated erythematous plaque with a silvery-white scale characteristic of psoriasis. See a picture of Psoriasis Vulgaris...
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Types of Psoriasis: Medical Pictures and Treatments
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What is psoriatic arthritis? Psoriatic arthritis is an arthritis type that comes with psoriasis (skin inflammation). Psoriatic...
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Psoriasis triggers a red, scaly rash of plaques on the skin typically affecting the elbows, knees, and scalp. Treatment involves...
Home Remedies for Psoriasis
Discover home remedies for psoriasis and help heal irritated skin.
Related Disease Conditions
Melanoma (Skin Cancer)
Melanoma is a type of skin cancer which begins in skin cells called melanocytes and affects more than 53,600 people in the United States each year. These melanocytes can grow together to form benign moles which, after a change in size, shape, or color can be a sign of melanoma. Caused by sun exposure, early detection becomes extremely important to avoid a spread to other areas of the body. Diagnosis is confirmed through a biopsy of the abnormal skin and treatment depends on the extent and characteristics of the patient. Metastatic melanoma is melanoma that has spread to various organs.
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms and signs include painful, stiff, and swollen joints, tendinitis, and organ inflammation. Treatment involves anti-inflammatory medications and exercise.
Skin cancers occur when skin cells undergo malignant transformations and grow into tumors. The most common types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are highly curable when they are diagnosed and treated early. Sun exposure, tanning beds, depressed immune system, radiation exposure, and certain viral infections are risk factors for skin cancer. Skin cancers are treated with surgery or radiation. The prognosis of nonmelanoma skin cancers is generally very good.
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However, over-stress, can be harmful. There is now speculation, as well as some evidence, that points to the abnormal stress responses as being involved in causing various diseases or conditions.
Obesity is the state of being well above one's normal weight. A person has traditionally been considered to be obese if they are more than 20% over their ideal weight. That ideal weight must take into account the person's height, age, sex, and build.
Arthritis (Joint Inflammation)
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness and pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, gout, and pseudogout.
Cellulitis is an acute spreading bacterial infection below the surface of the skin characterized by redness, warmth, inflammation, and pain. The most common cause of cellulitis is the bacteria staph (Staphylococcus aureus).
Fungal nails (onychomycosis) may be caused by many species of fungi, but the most common is Trichophyton rubrum. Distal subungal onychomycosis starts as a discolored area at the nail's corner and slowly spread toward the cuticle. In proximal subungal onychomycosis, the infection starts at the cuticle and spreads toward the nail tip. Yeast onychomycosis is caused by Candida and may be the most common cause of fungal fingernail.
Itch (Itching or Pruritus)
Itching can be a common problem. Itches can be localized or generalized. There are many causes of itching to include: infection (jock itch, vaginal itch), disease (hyperthyroidism, liver or kidney), reactions to drugs, and skin infestations (pubic or body lice). Treatment for itching varies depending on the cause of the itch.
Actinic keratoses are rough, scaly patches of skin that are considered precancerous and are due to sun exposure. Prevention is to cut sun exposure and wear sunscreen.
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction (SI Joint Pain)
Sacroiliac joint (SI) dysfunction is a general term to reflect pain in the SI joints. Causes of SI joint pain include osteoarthritis, abnormal walking pattern, and disorders that can cause SI joint inflammation including gout, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and ankylosing spondylitis. Treatment includes oral medications, cortisone injections, and surgery.
Heart disease (coronary artery disease) occurs when plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply blood to the heart. Heart disease can lead to heart attack. Risk factors for heart disease include: Smoking High blood pressure High cholesterol Diabetes Family history Obesity Angina, shortness of breath, and sweating are just a few symptoms that may indicate a heart attack. Treatment of heart disease involves control of heart disease risk factors through lifestyle changes, medications, and/or stenting or bypass surgery. Heart disease can be prevented by controlling heart disease risk factors.
There are a variety of diseases and conditions that can cause tongue problems, discoloration, and soreness. Though most tongue problems are not serious. Conditions such as leukoplakia, oral thrush, and oral lichen planus may cause a white tongue while Kawasaki syndrome, scarlet fever, and geographic tongue may cause the tongue to appear red. A black hairy tongue may be caused by overgrown papillae on the tongue. Canker sores, smoking, and trauma may cause soreness of the tongue.
Dry skin (xeroderma) may be caused by external factors, like cold temperatures, low humidity, harsh soaps, and certain medications, or internal factors, such as thyroid disease, diabetes, psoriasis, or Sjogren's syndrome. Symptoms and signs of dry skin include itching and red, cracked or flaky skin. The main treatment for dry skin is frequent, daily lubrication of the skin.
Scalp Psoriasis (Psoriasis of the Scalp)
Scalp psoriasis causes red, raised, scaly patches that may extend from the scalp to the forehead and the back of the neck and ears. Symptoms and signs include itching, hair loss, flaking, silvery scales, and red plaques. Treatment includes topical medicated shampoos, creams, gels, oils, ointments, and soaps, medications, and light therapy.
Is Psoriasis Contagious?
Psoriasis is an incurable skin disease that causes reddish patches of skin topped with a thick layer of dry silvery scales. Psoriasis cannot spread and is not contagious.
What Is the Best Treatment for Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an incurable chronic autoimmune disorder of the skin that causes patches of thick, flaky, scaly skin, mostly around the scalp, knees, and elbows, though any skin surface may be involved. Some people experience only small patches while others have red, inflamed skin and think scaly patches all over the body. The exact cause of psoriasis is not clear, but it isn’t contagious.
Non-Radiographic Axial Spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA)
Non-radiographic spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) is an inflammatory arthritis that mainly affects the joints of the spine. Morning stiffness and back pain are the usual symptoms of nr-axSpA. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, exercise, and biologics are treatments for nr-axSpA.
Local ResourcesFind a local Dermatologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Anal Itching (Pruritus Ani)
- Doctor: Getting the Most from Your Doctor's Appointment
- How to Choose a Doctor
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Psoriasis: Advances in Treatment
- Psoriatic Arthritis: Diagnosis and Treatment
- Psoriasis: The Secret to Managing Psoriasis
- Psoriasis: Routes to Relief-- Mark Lebwohl, MD
- Nail Discoloration
- Bumps on Skin
- Flaky Scalp
- Vaginal Itching
- Dry Skin
- Peeling Skin
- Leg Pain
- Brittle Nails
- Penile Itching
- Leg Sores
- Vertical Ridges on the Fingernails
- Nail Pitting
- Nail Separation
- Red Spots on the Skin
- Psoriatic Arthritis
- Changes in Skin of the Breast
- Splinter Hemorrhage
- Skin FAQs
- Psoriasis FAQs
- AS and Psoriatic Arthritis - Arthritis Meeting 2003
- Psoriasis, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis Share One Gene
- Psoriasis Drugs Strike Immune Targets (Raptiva, Enbrel)
- Can You Get Gout in Your Back?
- How Do You Get Psoriasis?
- Can Psoriasis Be Caused by Allergy?
- Is It Eczema or Psoriasis?
- What Are the Triggers of Psoriasis?
- Psoriasis PUVA Therapy Can Increase Melanoma Risk
Medications & Supplements
- methotrexate - oral
- alefacept - intramuscular, Amevive
- prednisolone liquid - oral, Orapred, Pediapred, Prelone
- methotrexate - injection
- tacrolimus - injection, Prograf
- dexamethasone (Decadron, DexPak)
- prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos) Corticosteroid
- prednisolone (Orapred, Pediapred)
- methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall)
- tacrolimus (Prograf, Astagraf XL, Envarsus XR)
- etanercept (Enbrel)
- hydrocortisone valerate
- infliximab (Remicade)
- fluorouracil (Efudex)
- adalimumab (Humira)
- alefacept (Amevive)
- pimecrolimus (Elidel)
- efalizumab, Raptiva
- Corticosteroids (Systemic, Oral, Injections, Types)
- methoxsalen (8-MOP, Oxsoralen Ultra)
- capsaicin - topical, Capsagel, Salonpas-Hot, Zostri
- etretinate-oral, Tegison
- salicylic acid/flex collodion combinations liquid - topical, Freezone, Gordofilm
- anthralin - topical
- calcipotriene - topical, Dovonex, Sorilux
- dalteparin injection (Fragmin)
- Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium, Chrysanthemum parthenium, Bachelor's Buttons, Featherfew)
- clobetasol foam - topical, Olux
- Topicort (desoximetasone cream, ointment, spray, gel)
- betamethasone foam - topical, Luxiq
- clobetasol shampoo - topical, Clobex
- cyclosporine microemulsion solution - oral, Gengraf, Neoral
- mycophenolate mofetil suspension - oral, Cellcept
- betamethasone/calcipotriene (calcipotriol) - topical, Taclonex
- cyclosporine microemulsion capsule - oral, Gengraf, Neoral
- cyclosporine solution - oral, Sandimmune
- gentamicin ointment
- calcitriol (Rocaltrol)
- coal tar shampoo - topical, Denorex, Pentrax, Zetar
- Topical Corticosteroids
- Soriatane (acitretin)
- cyclosporine - oral, Sandimmune
- methoxsalen (Oxsoralen)
- anthralin (for scalp only) - topical, Dritho-Scalp
- tazarotene (Tazorac)
- ustekinumab (Stelara)
- apremilast (Otezla)
- secukinumab (Cosentyx)
- infliximab-dyyb (Inflectra)
- ixekizumab (Taltz)
- Monoclonal Antibodies
- Biologics (Biologic Drug Class)
- Remicade vs. Humira
- Diprolene (betamethasone dipropionate) vs. Topicort (desoximetasone)
- Taltz (ixekizumab) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- Otezla (apremilast) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- Amevive (alefacept) Side Effects, Warnings and Drug Interactions
- Diprolene Lotion (betamethasone dipropionate) Side Effects, Warnings, and Interactions
- Skyrizi (risankizumab-rzaa)
- Side Effects of Tazorac (tazarotene)
- Side Effects of Topicort (desoximetasone)
- Side Effects of Soriatane (acitretin)
- Side Effects of Stelara (ustekinumab)
- Dovonex Cream
- Dovonex Scalp
- Dovonex Ointment
- Zithranol Shampoo
- Clobex Shampoo
- Clobex Lotion
- Solu Medrol
- Triamcinolone Cream
- Triamcinolone Lotion
- Triamcinolone Ointment
Prevention & Wellness
- Study Probes Side Effects of Methotrexate, Used for Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Health Tip: Living With Psoriasis
- Health Tip: Using Aloe Vera
- Psoriasis, Mental Ills Can Go Hand in Hand
- Major Flooding Can Bring Skin Infection Dangers
- Bad Reaction From a New Tattoo? Here's What to Do
- Psoriasis Meds Might Help Fight Heart Trouble, Too
- Drug Companies Raise Prices on More Than 1,000 Medicines
- Stigma Another Burden for Many With Psoriasis
- New Drug Reverses Hair Loss in Mice
- Could Psoriasis Patients Eat Their Way to Fewer Symptoms?
- 'Fish Pedicure' Caused One Woman's Toenails to Stop Growing
- Race Can Affect Many Skin Conditions
- Whites More Likely Than Others to Seek Help for Psoriasis
- Smartphone Pics Help Docs ID Kids' Skin Condition
- Severe Psoriasis May Make Diabetes Increasingly Likely
- Cyndi Lauper's Psoriasis Battle Shows Her 'True Colors'
- Many Moisturizers Aren't What They Claim to Be
- Severe Psoriasis Linked to Higher Risk of Earlier Death
- Study Challenges Touted Link Between Eczema and Heart Disease
- Health Tip: Why Is My Skin Dry?
- Scientists Spot Genetic Clues to Disfiguring 'Fish Scale' Disease
- Health Tip: Caring for Nail Psoriasis
- Men More Prone to Severe Psoriasis: Study
- New Eczema Drug Promising in Early Trial
- Immune Disorders Such as MS, Psoriasis May Be Tied to Dementia Risk
- Can Depression Up Odds for Arthritis Linked to Psoriasis?
- FDA Approves Injectable Psoriasis Drug for Tough Cases
- Siliq Approved for Plaque Psoriasis
- Got an Itch? Use These Tips for Relief -- and Don't Scratch
- Weight Loss May Ease Psoriasis Symptoms, Study Finds
- Health Tip: Caring for Psoriasis on Your Feet
- Health Tip: Caring for Psoriasis During Winter
- Health Tip: Manage Psoriasis
- Health Tip: Why Is My Skin Dry?
- Amjevita OK'd to Treat Inflammatory Diseases
- Scientists Zero In on Cause of Rare, Disfiguring Skin Disorder
- FDA Approves New Biological Drug for Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Generic Biologic Drugs Seem as Effective as Originals
- Treating Psoriasis May Reduce Risk for Other Ills
- Health Tip: Coping With Scalp Psoriasis
- New Psoriasis Drug Works Longer Term, Too
- Psoriasis Tied to Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes
- Psoriasis May Raise Risk for Aneurysms in Abdomen: Study
- Inflectra Approved as 'Biosimilar' to Remicade
- Health Tip: Why Is My Skin Dry?
- Safe Treatments Available for Expectant Moms' Skin Conditions
- Is the 'No-Shampoo' Trend a Healthy One?
- 'Designer Cells' Show Promise Against Psoriasis in Lab Mice
- Psoriasis, Cold Sores Most Stigmatized Skin Disorders: Survey
- Worse Psoriasis, Less Healthy Arteries, Study Finds
- 2 Experimental Drugs Offer Hope Against Psoriasis: Studies
- Psoriasis, Depression Often Go Hand in Hand: Study
- Psoriasis Linked to Higher Risk of Depression
- Psoriasis Drug May Help Preserve Pancreas Cells in Type 1 Diabetes
- Experimental Psoriasis Drug Shows Promise
- New Drug Shows Promise Against Psoriasis
- Injuries Up Risk of Psoriatic Arthritis for People With Psoriasis
- Ingredient in MS, Psoriasis Drugs Linked to Two Deadly Brain Infections
- 'Ground Zero' Workers at Risk of Autoimmune Diseases: Study
- Health Tip: Spot the Symptoms of Scalp Psoriasis
- New Psoriatic Arthritis Research Offers Hope
- New Psoriasis Drug Approved
- Psoriasis Costs Americans Up to $135 Billion Annually, Study Finds
- Psoriasis Tied to Raised Risk of Uncontrolled Blood Pressure
- Psoriasis Treatment Choices Improving, FDA Says
- Health Tip: Soothing Psoriasis on the Feet
- New Psoriasis Drug Shows Promise in Trials
- High Blood Pressure May Up Psoriasis Risk for Women
- Drug Shows Promise Against Arthritis Common in People with Psoriasis
- Use of Low-Dose Steroid Creams During Pregnancy Won't Affect Baby: Study
- Steroids Often Prescribed for Psoriasis, Countering Guidelines
- Mouse Study May Explain Link Between Clogged Arteries, Immune Dysfunction
- Study Finds Links Between Psoriasis, Heart Failure
- Study Sees Link Between Psoriasis, Kidney Problems
- Stelara OK'd for Psoriatic Arthritis
- Psoriasis Drug May Help Treat Type 1 Diabetes: Report
- Health Tip: Treating Psoriasis on the Feet
- Treatment Options Expand for Psoriasis Patients
- Atlanta Women Offers Hope for Those With Psoriasis
- Use of Low-Dose Steroid Creams During Pregnancy Won't Affect Baby: Study
- Skin Care Tips for Psoriasis Patients
- Many Psoriasis Patients Going Without Treatment, Study Finds
- Psoriasis, Other Medical Conditions May Be Linked, Study Says
- Weight Loss Might Ease Psoriasis, Study Hints
- Got an Itch? Mouse Study May Help Explain Why
- Salty Diet Might Help Trigger MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Kids With Psoriasis More Likely to Be Overweight: Study
- New Arthritis Drug Xeljanz Gets FDA Approval
- Is a New Crohn's Disease Treatment on the Horizon?
- Humira Approved for Ulcerative Colitis Treatment
- Health Tip: Managing With Psoriasis
- Psoriasis Linked to Diabetes
- Some Psoriasis Therapies May Cut Heart Attack Risk
- Could Germs on Your Skin Be Good for You?
- Sunburn May Help Rid Body of Radiation-Damaged Cells
- Shingles Vaccine Safe for Those With Autoimmune Diseases: Study
- Vigorous Exercise Might Protect Against Psoriasis
- Vigorous Exercise Might Keep Psoriasis at Bay
- New Psoriasis Drugs Not Much Better Than Standard Therapy, Study Finds
- Gene Behind Psoriasis Identified, Researchers Say
- Biologic Treatments May Ease Psoriasis
- Coffee Doesn't Affect Psoriasis Risk After All, Researchers Say
- Psoriasis Patients May Face Higher Heart Risk
- Smoking Linked to Higher Rate of Psoriasis: Study
- Chinese Herb Targets Immune System
- Itch Intensity and Scratching Pleasure Vary at Different Body Sites
- Pill for RA Works as Well as Shot
- Some Doctors Warming Up to Probiotics
- Experimental Drug May Help Treat Psoriasis
- 6 Steps to Improved Nail -- and Overall -- Health
- Study: Psoriasis in Kids Linked to Obesity, Heart Risks
- Vitamin D Treatments Target Psoriasis
- Psoriasis Guidelines Call for Tailored Treatment
- Psoriasis, Heart Disease, and Diabetes: What's the Link?
- Pill Cuts Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
- RA Drug Methotrexate Is Recalled
- Beer Linked to Psoriasis
- Pro Golfer Phil Mickelson Treated for Psoriatic Arthritis
- Insurance Woes Can Add to Burden of Psoriasis
- Study: Obesity Predicts Psoriatic Arthritis
- Scientists Find Possible Genetic Roots of Type of Hair Loss
- New Immune System Clue to Low Back Pain
- Alcohol Associated With Lower Risk of Arthritis
- Health Tip: Treating Psoriasis
- Acne, Psoriasis Meds Don't Raise Fracture Risk
- LeAnn Rimes Brings Battle With Psoriasis to Center Stage
- Psoriasis Tied to Raised Heart Risk
- Treating Psoriasis If Enbrel Fails
- Cost of Psoriasis Drugs Rising Faster Than Others
- Newer Drug More Effective in Psoriasis Treatment
- Stelara Approved for Psoriasis
- Psoriasis Patients Happy With Home-Based Treatment
- Psoriasis Linked to Hypertension, Diabetes
- Low-Dose Acitretin May Reduce Nail Psoriasis
- Indigo Ointment Relieves Psoriasis
- After Fits and Starts, New Hope for Psoriasis Patients
- Psoriasis: 7 New Genetic Clues
- Psoriasis Poses Danger for More Serious Complications
- Severe Psoriasis May Up Risk of Death
- Long-Term Psoriasis Relief With Enbrel
- Experimental Psoriasis Drug Produces Impressive Results
- Drug Proves Effective Against Psoriasis
- Skin: Beat the Itch of Winter Skin
- 6 Secrets to Gorgeous Skin
- Stelara (ustekinumab Injection) FAQ
- The ABCs of a Healthy Skin Diet
- FTC Charges Seasilver with Making False and Deceptive Claims
- Skin: Scaly Skin? Psoriasis Facts
- Psoriasis Flares As Cool Winds Blow
- Women and Body Image
- Fingernails - What Are They?