Psoriasis is a skin disease in which red patches with silver scales develop on different parts of the body. The usual sites of psoriasis include elbows, knees, scalp and lower back. It is not necessary that the patches grow in these areas only, but these areas are more commonly affected. Although the patches may appear as something contagious, they cannot transfer from one person to another.

In this article, we will cover the following topics about psoriasis:

  • What are the causes of psoriasis?
  • How many types of psoriasis are there?
  • Treatment options for psoriasis
  1. What are the causes of psoriasis?

Although researchers believe psoriasis to be an immune system disorder in which the skin cells multiply speedily as compared to normal skin cells, it is not obvious what exactly causes psoriasis.
There may be a number of environmental factors that can instigate psoriasis such as stress, substance abuse such as heavy drinking, extreme dry weather conditions, sunburn, a strep infection or sometimes an external injury to the skin.

  1. How many types of psoriasis are there?

Psoriasis can be of seven types:

  1. Plaque Psoriasis: It is the most common type of psoriasis that appears in the form of red patchy skins covered with silver scales on areas such as elbow, knees, scalp and lower back.
  2. Guttate Psoriasis: This is a rather uncommon type of psoriasis that affects children and young adults. It appears in the form of distributed pinkish red spots on the body parts such as the trunk, arms or thighs.
  3. Inverse Psoriasis: Common on areas of the skin such as underarms, under breasts, groin or the skin folds such as buttocks, this type of psoriasis is characterized by dark red, smooth skin patches that get really itchy when the patient sweats.
  4. Pustular psoriasis: Common in adults, this type of psoriasis is distinguished by puss filled small round bumps that are surrounded by skin. These pustules appear usually on the hands and feet, but a more distributed pustular psoriasis can be more serious than the one that is only limited to hands and feet.
  5. Erythrodermic psoriasis: Although uncommon, it is the type of psoriasis which is the most dangerous. Characterized by large patches of skin that appears as if it is burned, erythrodermic psoriasis can cause other serious conditions such as pneumonia and sometimes heart disease as well.
  6. Nail Psoriasis: As the name suggests, this type of psoriasis affects nails. The nails can get brittle with a chalk like material under them. The nails get detached from the skin and appear brownish yellow. Even though most people who experience psoriasis also experience nail changes, nail psoriasis usually occurs in the patients of psoriatic arthritis.
  7. Psoriatic Arthritis:

It is the type of psoriasis that occurs along with arthritis in a patient. The characteristic symptoms include swollen joints, fingers and toes.

  1. Treatment options for psoriasis:

Psoriasis can be treated with topical drugs and prescription medicine that usually include corticosteroids. The ointments or drugs based on steroids help reduce the inflammation and the speedy multiplication of skin cells.