Medical Definition of Plaque psoriasis

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Plaque psoriasis: The most common form of psoriasis -- about 80% of people with psoriasis have this type. Plaque psoriasis can appear on any skin surface, although the knees, elbows, scalp, and trunk and are the most common locations. It is characterized by well-defined plaques of red raised skin. The flaky silvery white buildup on top of the plaques is called scale; it is composed of dead skin cells. This scale comes loose and sheds constantly from the plaques. Skin symptoms include pain, itching and cracking. The technical name for plaque psoriasis is psoriasis vulgaris (vulgaris means common).

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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