Psoriasis is a common skin condition appearing in most patients between the ages of 15 and 35. It is not contagious but can be triggered by seemingly minor events such as infection, injury, and stress. Evidence also suggests that psoriasis tends to reoccur in families. Psoriasis has no set timeline. It can appear all at once or over a long stretch of time. Often, it appears in small itchy patches or dots. The dots can be covered in scaly skin or may be pink in color. Depending on the type of psoriasis, however, the symptoms will vary.
- Erythodermic psoriasis results in intense redness over a large area of skin.
- Guttate psoriasis appears as small, pink-red dots.
- Inverse psoriasis causes irritation in the armpits, groin and other areas of overlapping skin.
- Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis. It is identified by the appearance of red patches of skin covered in flaky scales.
- Pustular psoriasis results in white blisters surrounded by irritated skin.
Those who suspect they may be suffering from psoriasis should see a health care provider immediately. Most cases of psoriasis are treated with medications applied directly to the skin such as cortisone creams, dandruff shampoos and prescribed medicines containing vitamin D or vitamin A. In some cases a patient may elect to undergo phototherapy which involves carefully exposing the infected skin to ultraviolet light.