Medical Definition of Psoriasis vulgaris

  • 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.

Psoriasis vulgaris: The medical name for the most common form of psoriasis ("vulgaris" means common). About 80% of people with psoriasis have this type. It is also called plaque psoriasis because of the characteristic plaques on the skin: well-defined plaques of red raised skin that can appear on any area of skin, although the knees, elbows, scalp and trunk are the most common locations. 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.

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Last Editorial Review: 1/25/2017

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