Dealing with psoriasis is a day-to-day challenge faced by 2-3% of the UK population. It is often difficult to find advice to suit your particular symptoms, since psoriasis can manifest itself in a number of ways. As an autoimmune disease caused by a miscommunication between the skin cells and the immune system, there is no cure, but there are ways of making your life easier, whichever form you suffer from.
The 5 types of psoriasis, and what they mean
1. Plaque psoriasis
This is the most common type and causes thick red patches over the body. It is most commonly found on the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp. Treatment may consist of steroid or non-steroid based topical treatments which slow down skin cell growth and reduce inflammation. Phototherapy could also be used, which involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light.
2. Guttate psoriasis
This looks quite different to plaque psoriasis, appearing like small tear-drop shapes on the skin. It is the second most common form of psoriasis, but tends to affect people under the age of 30. Treatment and severity are at around the same level as that for plaque psoriasis, the biggest difference between the two only really being the shape and size of the rash itself.
3. Inverse psoriasis
This type of psoriasis is quite a bit different, visually speaking, and is less common, affecting just 2-6% of psoriasis sufferers. As the name suggests, the problem areas are more hidden, causing red patches of skin in body folds, like around the buttocks and breasts, genitals and armpits. For this reason, it is often thought of as being the most irritating and uncomfortable form of psoriasis, often becoming tender due to the friction around these parts of the body.
4. Pustular psoriasis
This is different again, manifesting as puss-filled blisters surrounded by red skin. It is very rarely seen in children and is often limited to certain parts of the body rather than larger areas. With the blisters, it is important to use treatment to help avoid the potential for infection.
5. Erythrodermic psoriasis
This is the most inflammatory form of the disease, and can affect a person suffering from any of the above forms at one to three points during their life.
You are a complex character!
The point is that psoriasis comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes and no one treatment works for everyone. It may be that you will have to try and test a number of treatments before you find the one that works for you, and this is perfectly normal. Whatever type you suffer from, soothing emollients and moisturisers can really help in making you more comfortable in your own skin.
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HelloSkin is the world's first online store for people with psoriasis. We provide a meticulous selection of non-prescription products ranging from creams, lotions, ointments, bath additives and shower products to nutritional supplements and accessories.
Our team of experts research all products for scientific evidence and present the information in order for people to make a considered choice for their psoriasis. The mission is to provide transparency in the product selection process and provide people with all available product information at one place.