Psoriasis is a common skin disorder, which first presents with early symptoms of redness and irritation patches on the skin. There is no permanent cure and its signs and symptoms are life-long companions of the patient.
There are various types of psoriasis and their appearances differ. Their symptoms and signs also vary in combination and severity from person to person.
Psoriasis can appear on any part of the body and are seen more commonly on arms, legs, scalp, trunk, and the genitals.
Among the joints, the elbows and knees are more commonly affected.
Psoriasis is a chronic long-term disease with no cure. It is not continuously present and most psoriasis cases have cyclic occurrences.
The disease can go into complete remission, flare up again due to some triggering factor, and stay for a few weeks or months.
At times, particularly in mild forms, psoriasis can go unnoticed. You should treat it early as soon as the symptoms are diagnosed to avoid permanent damage to a joint (in case of psoriatic arthritis).
The symptoms usually start to appear when the person prone to psoriasis is exposed to a trigger factor.
Possible triggers include strep infection, cold weather, development of dry skin, severe sunburn, stress, the use of certain medicines, etc.
Age-wise, symptoms often start between ages 15 and 25, but they are also seen to start at other ages.
Severe cases of psoriasis can be painful, disabling, and disfiguring. There is no permanent cure and treatment available is only to give relief from symptoms.
Psoriatic skin patches can occur on any part of the body but you see them more commonly on the arms, legs, trunk, and scalp. The knees and elbows are the most commonly affected.
Psoriasis is a disorder of the skin due to the improper functioning of the immune system.
Symptoms and Signs
When psoriasis starts the first or the early symptom and sign is the appearance of a few raised red patches. They may become bigger and merge to cover larger areas of the body.
These patches develop scales on the upper surface; they can itch and bleed easily if you scratch them.
Generally, common signs and symptoms include:
- The main symptoms include thickened, dry, and raised patches of red and inflamed skin covered with scales
- Small spots with scales are seen in children
- Dry skin, which develops cracks and can bleed
- Psoriatic skin patches give rise to itching, burning, and soreness
- Tiny blood spots are seen when the scales of the skin are picked off or scraped. This is typical and called the Auspitz’s sign.
Symptoms of nail psoriasis
In nail psoriasis, the nails become thickened and pitted and can develop ridges. They may turn green, yellow, or brown.
The surface of the nails may develop ridges, grooves or they are pitted.
There may be fungal infection due to which the nails become thick and brittle causing them to break.
There may be a collection of white debris under the nails causing them to separate from the skin. Ultimately, the nail may separate from the nail bed.
There may be pain and tenderness over the nails making it difficult to move the fingers and perform everyday functions with your fingers.
Psoriatic arthritis symptoms
Psoriatic arthritis is psoriatic inflammation of the joint. Usually, the person develops skin symptoms first and the joint may become involved later.
The joints become swollen, stiff, tender, and painful. The mobility of the affected joint becomes limited. These constitute the main symptoms.
Any joint in the body can be affected including those of your fingers or the of the spine.
Treatment should be started early to avoid developing permanent joint damage and disability.
Scalp psoriasis symptoms
In scalp psoriasis, you will see red raised patches covered with silvery-white scales (like dandruff) over the scalp.
The scalp becomes dry, there is itching and soreness. There may be bleeding from the scalp due to scratching. There is considerable hair loss from the affected areas of the scalp, which is temporary.
Scalp psoriasis affects most of the scalp and can also spread to the ears, neck, forehead, and face.
Symptoms of genital psoriasis
About 65% of the people with psoriasis develop genital psoriasis.
Genital psoriasis affects the skin of your genitals and the skin around them. Red patches usually accompany it on the skin of the other parts of the body, meaning genital psoriasis rarely occurs alone.
Genital psoriasis causes itching, pain, and burning of the affected parts. Infection easily sets in here when the skin cuts open due to scratching.
Inverse psoriasis and plaque psoriasis are the two types of psoriasis seen in the genital region.
In psoriasis of the penis, there is development of many small red patches on the penile shaft. They may appear scaly or they may be smooth
About 25% of the people lose out on an intimate relationship because of their psoriasis.