Psoriasis: Types Symptoms and Causes

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Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune system disease which causes because of building up of skin cells rapidly. This buildup of skin cells causes scaling on the skin’s surface which leads to itchy skin, red patches on the skin. It occurs equally in men and women. Comparing to the infants, it is more common in Adults. If a person in your family is having Psoriasis, then you are at high risk of getting it. In other words, we can say it is a hereditary disease.


Introduction to Psoriasis

Introduction to Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin disorder that allows skin cells to multiply 10 times more than actual growth. This result in the scaling of Skin’s surface. It mostly appears on Elbows, Scalp, Knees, Lower back. It does not spread from one person to another person. It is an inflammatory Skin disease. It occurs the majority in Adults when compared to the children.

What Does Psoriasis Looks Like

What does psoriasis look like

The most common type of Psoriasis is Plaque Psoriasis. In the beginning, it appears as a small red bump that grows larger and forms scales on the skin. It feels itchy. But if you try to scratch the scales, it causes bleeding. It is not contagious that means it does not spread from one person to another.

Is Psoriasis Itchy

Is psoriasis is itchy

Psoriasis is derived from the Greek word “Itch”. As the name itself is indicating that it’s main symptom is Itching. Psoriasis is an immune disorder which multiplies healthy skin cells rapidly and forms thick scaly surfaces on the skin. This thick scaly surfaces on the skin tend to be itchy, painful and feels like a burning sensation. Typically, all types of Psoriasis feels like the same. About 90% of people say that it is Itchy.

Psoriasis Types

psoriasis types

Psoriasis is of several types. As it attacks to different body parts, each has its name. Here is the list of different types of Psoriasis.

Plaque Psoriasis
Guttate Psoriasis
Pustular Psoriasis
Inverse Psoriasis
Psoriatic Arthritis
Erythrodermic Psoriasis
Nail Psoriasis
Scalp Psoriasis

Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque Psoriasis most common type of Psoriasis. Thick silver pattern scales will appear on the skin mostly on Scalp, elbows, knees or lower back.

Guttate Psoriasis

Guttate Psoriasis

Guttate Psoriasis appears as small and red spots on the skin. It mostly starts at childhood or in early adulthood.

Guttate marks are small and drop shaped. Often these spots appear on limbs but they may also appear on Scalp and face. Guttate Psoriasis marks are not that thick as Plaque Psoriasis. But if you don’t take care of it, they will develop as Plaque Psoriasis.

Pustular Psoriasis
Pustular Psoriasis

This kind of condition is considered a severe form of Psoriasis. It is formed as white pustules surrounded by red skin. Pustular Psoriasis affects the sensitive parts of the body such as hands and feet. This type might cover most of the skin surface. There are three types of Pustular Psoriasis.

  • Von Zumbusch
  • Palmoplantar pustulosis (PPP)
  • Acropustulosis

Inverse Psoriasis

Inverse Psoriasis

It majorly appears in skin foldings such as under the breast, armpits or in the groin area. As this type of Psoriasis occurs in the folds, the sweat and moisture from skin stop forming skin scales.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis commonly develops in the people who are suffering from Psoriasis.  It is a condition in which we can see Joints swelling and stiffness. If Psoriatic Arthritis becomes severe, it causes permanent joint damage. So early stage recognition and medication cure the disease. There are five types of Psoriatic Arthritis are there.

  • Symmetric psoriatic arthritis
  • Asymmetric Psoriatic Arthritis
  • Distal Interphalangeal Predominant (DIP)
  • Spondylitis
  • Arthritis Mutilans

Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Erythrodermic Arthritis

Erythrodermic Psoriasis is severed and rare type of condition. A large part of the skin is covered at a time in this type of Psoriasis. The skin looks like sunburned. If a person is suffering from Erythrodermic Psoriasis, he/she will get ill and will have a temperature. The person who affected Erythrodermic Psoriasis must consult a doctor immediately as this can turn into a life-threatening situation.

Nail Psoriasis

Nail Psoriasis

Nail Psoriasis is not an official kind of Psoriasis but it’s an indication. It causes often fungal infections to the Nails.

Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp Psoriasis

This type is common with the people who are having Plaque Psoriasis. Severe Dandruff can be seen with some people who are having Scalp Psoriasis. And with some people itchy, dry skin can be seen at the hairline. If Scalp Psoriasis is not treated, then it will spread to neck, face, and ears with small or larger patches. Scalp Psoriasis causes Hair loss or affects in hair growth.

Above mentioned are important types of Psoriasis. There are other kinds also that cause on different parts of the body like Psoriasis on Hands and Feet, Face, Skin etc.

Psoriasis Causes

Psoriasis Causes

Psoriasis is mainly related to Immune System problem with T cells and white blood cells. T cells help in fighting against foreign bodies such as virus and bacteria. But in the case of Psoriasis, T cells fight with healthy cells. Overactive T cells activate healthy skin cells and these cells grow rapidly. Rapidly grown skin cells reach the skin layer and form thick scaling and patches on the skin.

Psoriasis Symptoms

Psoriasis Symptoms

As there are different forms of Psoriasis, symptoms are different for each kind. But following are the most common type of symptoms in any of the Psoriasis.

  • Itchy and thick patches on the skin
  • Red patches on the skin
  • Changes in nail color
  • Dry and cracked skin
  • Swollen joints
  • Diagnosing Psoriasis

Psoriasis Causes

Typically, a dermatologist can diagnose the Psoriasis by examing nails, scalp, skin and etc. However sometimes it is difficult for dermatologists to detect exact type of Psoriasis. Then dermatologist will recommend for Biopsy. During a biopsy, it is easy to determine which type of Psoriasis it is.

Psoriasis Tests

Psoriasis Tests

A person dealing with Psoriasis will have some common symptoms like dry cracked skin, itchy skin, thick silver color scalings on the skin surface, red spots, etc. If you are having any of these symptoms, consult a general physician or dermatologist. A dermatologist will examine the skin surfaces, head, face, hands, feet etc and will let you know what type of Psoriasis you are having. In some rare conditions, a dermatologist cannot recognize which type of Psoriasis the patient is having. At that point, dermatologists prefer Biopsy. In Biopsy they can exactly determine which type of psoriasis it is and will give medication accordingly.

Psoriasis Treatment

Psoriasis Treatment

Psoriasis is incurable. However, there are some treatments which will reduce inflammation, itchiness and reduce building up of skin cells rapidly etc. Below given are some treatments which are preferred by the dermatologist.

Topical Treatments

In treating Psoriasis, Topical treatments are the first type of treatment where Ointment is directly applied to the skin. Instead of injections or tablets, Ointment is preferred in this type of treatment. There are many ointments for different kinds of Psoriasis. Some you can buy directly in Pharmacy. While some are not given without a prescription. Topical Treatments or ointments for Psoriasis include the following:

  • Salicylic acid
  • Steroid-based creams
  • Calcitriol (Vectical) containing topical ointment
  • Coal-tar ointments and shampoos
  • Prescription retinoids
  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Vitamin D Analogues
  • Anthralin
  • Calcineurin inhibitors

Phototherapy for Psoriasis

Psoriasis suffering patient should expose their skin to Sunlight. But sometimes, the sunlight is not efficient or adequate and need ultraviolet rays or light therapy under medical supervision. There are different kinds of Light Therapies which are listed below.

  • PUVA (the drug psoralen combined with ultraviolet A, or UVA, light)
  • Ultraviolet B light (UVB) light
  • Narrow-band UVB therapy
  • Laser Treatments
  • Tanning beds

Systemic Medication

Systemic Medication means using steroids which works throughout the body. These Systemic Steroids are different for different kinds of Psoriasis. In other words, they differ from Moderate Psoriasis to Critical Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis. Systemic Medication is mostly used in patients who are not responding to Light Therapy or Topical Treatments.

New Oral Treatment

New Oral Treatment is a kind of molecule medicines taken by mouth. Previously pills are used for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis. But in this New Oral Treatment, pills taken will target the molecules inside the immune system. They will set the overactive immune system which causes itchiness, scalings over the surface if the skin and etc.

Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM)

Complementary and Alternative Therapies mainly focus on pain management and prevention of severe Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis. Typically, most of the Complementary and Alternative Medicines are safe. CAM includes the following:

  • Diet
  • Nutrition
  • Sunlight
  • Daily Baths
  • Moisturizers
  • Yoga
  • Medication
  • Exercises
  • Acupuncture
  • Mind/Body Therapies


Biologic Drugs Protein-based drugs which are given through Injections or IV. In Systemic Medication, treatment is given throughout the body. Whereas in Biologics, only particular parts of the Immune system. Biologic treatment is used to cure Psoriasis disease. They will block specific immune cells like T cells, block the proteins in the immune system such as TNF-alpha, interleukin 17-A, or interleukins 12 and 23.

Risk Factors of Psoriasis

Risk Factors of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that fastens the skin cells to grow rapidly. Psoriasis is common in most of the population. But people with these factors have more risks in developing Psoriasis.

Family History

This is the main reason for the person in a family to get Psoriasis. If anyone of the parents in having Psoriasis, then there is a chance of inheriting it. If both the parents are having Psoriasis, then the chance of getting Psoriasis is very high.

Viral and bacterial infections

A person suffering from HIV is having high chances of attacking Psoriasis when compared to normal immune systems. Other recurring infections like strep throat are likely having a high risk of Psoriasis.


High-Level Stress is one of the reasons for developing Psoriasis. Because of stress levels can impact on Immune System.


Excess weight persons are at high risk of Psoriasis. When the body increases due to Obesity, more skin folds will form and there is a chance of getting Psoriasis in Skin Folds.


For the initial development of Psoriasis, Smoking also helps. Smoking not only increases the risk of Psoriasis but also increase the severity of the disease.

Complications of Psoriasis

complications of psoriasis

Complications linked with Psoriasis are listed below.

Psoriatic Arthritis:

This is a condition in which Joints swelling, the stiffness of joints can be seen. In this condition, the patient should consult the doctor immediately otherwise there severe joint damage can happen.

Eye Conditions:

Eye conditions like conjunctivitis, blepharitis, and uveitis are common in the people who are having Psoriasis


Patients suffering from Psoriasis likely to be Obese.

Type II Diabetes:

The risk of developing Type II Diabetes is high in psoriasis affected person.

Cardiovascular Disease:

People with Psoriasis are having a high risk of Cardiovascular disease when compared to a normal person who are not having.

Metabolic Syndrome:

Metabolic conditions like BP levels, insulin levels, cholesterol levels will increase the risk of Heart disease.

Parkinson’s Disease:

Severe Neurological disease is more likely to occur in a patient suffering from Psoriasis.

Kidney Disease:

Initial stage to Critical Stage of Psoriasis is connected with Kidney disease.

Natural Remedies for Psoriasis

Natural Remedies for Psoriasis


Use thick layers of Moisturizers to lock water into your skin and helps in reducing redness.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the best solutions to get rid of itchiness on your scalp. Try to put drops of Apple Cider Vinegar on your scalp when you feel itchy.  Wash it off when it dries so that you won’t feel itchy. Keep in mind that, don’t use this when your scalp is bleeding.


Sitting in the sun or exposing your skin to the sun also helps for Psoriasis. Exposing skin to the skin is a kind of Light Therapy because Sun rays comprise Ultraviolet B Rays.

Dead Sea Salt:

Dead Sea Salt or Epsom Salt is the best remedy for your skin scalings. Put some Epsom or Dead salt into a bucket of warm water and soak in it for about 15 minutes. Make sure to apply moisturizer after your bath. Because dead salt can dry up your skin and makes the situation worse if you are having any Plaque Psoriasis.


Turmeric comprises powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Take turmeric as a pill or supplement in your food like add it to the curries.

Tea Tree Oil:

This oil is obtained from Tea Tree leaves. Tea Trees native is Australia. However, we can purchase this from online or in supermarkets. Tea Tree leaves comprise antiseptic qualities. Shampoos containing tea tree oil helps in reducing scalp psoriasis.

Oats Bath:

Put ground up Oats in your bathtub having warm water. Soak yourself in it for some time.

Meditation and Yoga:

As we told previously, stress is also a reason for Psoriasis. Try to do yoga or meditation which will reduce mental stress. Mainly yoga helps in Psoriatic Arthritis.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids fights with inflammation. You can get Omega-3 Fatty acids in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. You can also get Fish oil supplements.


Taking lots of fruits, veggies, and fish also reduces the symptoms of Psoriasis.

Aloe Vera:

Like Turmeric, Alovera is anti-inflammatory and reduces redness. Use Pure and unscented aloe vera gel and put it to your skin.

Psoriasis Diet

psoriasis diet

Foods that are anti-inflammatory helps more to fight against Psoriasis. Some foods that are anti-inflammatory are given below.

  • Consume more fruits and veggies
  • Foods containing Omega-3 Fatty acids like Salmon, Sardines and other fishes
  • Anti-oxidant herbs like Thyme, sage, cumin, and ginger
  • Healthy sources of Fats like Olive oil, seeds, and nuts

We also give here some foods which are needed to avoid as they worsen the inflammation.

  • Processed Foods
  • Refined Sugars
  • Dairy
  • Fatty cuts of red meat
  • Consume Alcohol in Limit

MaxCure Hospitals Dermatology Department:

Dermatology is diagnosing and treating skin alignments influencing the skin, hair, and nails. It is a claim to be done in both medical and surgical aspects.

MaxCure have a well-renowned team of skin specialists’ offers acne, Hair loss treatment, Skin diseases treatment, laser, and skin Treatments.

MaxCure Hospitals, Hi-Tech City Branch

Doctor Profile:

Dr. B. Vijaya Sree



Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetologist & Trichologist

MaxCure Hospitals, Secretariat Branch

Doctor Profile:

Dr. Chetana Panabaka


M.D. (Dermatology Venereology & Leprosy)


Consultant Dermatologist & Aesthetic Physician



  • What foods trigger psoriasis flare-ups?

Here are some foods which can trigger Psoriasis flares up. Try to avoid them as much as possible.

  • Alcohol
  • Junk Foods
  • Red Meat
  • Dairy Products
  • Citrus Fruit
  • Nightshade Plants
  • Gluten
  • Condiments

How do you stop Psoriasis from Spreading?

  • An infection anywhere in your body
  • Smoking
  • Skin injuries like cuts or burns
  • Stress
  • Dry Air
  • Consuming excess alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Vitamin Deficiency
  • Can Sunlight worsen Psoriasis?

Sunrays give relief to the patient suffering from Psoriasis. Even though sunlight contains Ultraviolet B Rays which helps, too much of sunlight triggers it and flares up. Exposing skin to too much sunlight make the skin to turn red and sometimes causes skin cancer.


  • What foods to avoid if we have scalp psoriasis?

Keep away from refined starches, for example, bread, pasta, oats and snack sustenances that contain high measures of improved flour and additionally included sugars, which may likewise trigger irritation.


  • Does psoriasis spread by scratching?

Psoriasis is not harmful or spread from one person to another. But it spreads from one place to another place of the body by scratching. Doctors always advise psoriasis suffering patient, not to scratch. Because scratching might give the patient temporary relief but the situation becomes worse after itching. So try not to itch the affected area and consult a dermatologist for better treatment.


  • Can psoriasis turn into cancer?

    Psoriasis has been related to a 16% expansion in general relative hazard for non-skin cancer. People with psoriasis have a 52% increased risk cancers of the lung and bronchus, a 205% increase in the danger of creating tumors of the upper gastrointestinal tract, a 31% increment in the danger of creating diseases of the urinary tract, a 90% increase in the danger of creating liver disease, and a 46% expansion in the danger of creating pancreatic cancer.


  • Is psoriasis caused by stress?

Psoriasis and Stress are interlinked. Though this is a genetic and environmental condition, stress makes the condition to become worse. It also makes the person feel stressed. Try these techniques to reduce stress

  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
  • Can psoriasis affect internal organs?

Typically, Psoriasis affects the Nails and Skin. But in some cases, it will damage internal organs too. As this is an immune system disorder, there is 25% chance that it can cause damage to internal organs.

  • Can psoriasis spread by touching it?

Foremost fact is, Psoriasis is not Contagious. It doesn’t spread from one person to another person either sexually or by physical contact. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder caused by the rapid growth of healthy skin cells which forms a thick scaling surface at the skin layers.

  • Is the sun is good for psoriasis?

Sunlight is good therapy for Psoriasis. Because sun rays comprise Ultraviolet B rays which help in reducing inflammation. Although Sun Rays are good, too much exposure of skin to sun sometimes makes the situation worse. At the time of exposing skin to sun rays, if you find any uneasy or burning sensation, consult your Dermatologist immediately.


Dr. B. Vijaya Sree

  • MD, DVL
  • Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetologist & Trichologist
  •   Mon – Sat: 10 AM – 4 PM*
  •   Hitech city, Madhapur

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