Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the skin. Typically, one’s skin take approximately one month to form new cells under the old and then for the old to flake off naturally and harmlessly from the body. Someone with this disease forms new skin in a matter of days, causing the still healthy old skin to crack painfully. This causes the scaly, red appearance that is common with this disease. There are five distinct types of Psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis, which is the most common type of the disease; four out of five people with psoriasis have this type. Guttate psoriasis, which forms tell-tale teardrop shaped patches that often cover a large portion of skin; this type typically forms irritation that is less thick that plaque psoriasis. Erythodermic psoriasis is highly inflammatory, often affecting the whole body and is markedly more prone to itching, swelling, and pain. Pustular psoriasis is rarer than the other forms of psoriasis and manifests itself with pus-filled blisters over the body. Inverse psoriasis develops in the folds of skin such as near the buttocks and genitals and presents itself with lesions that are smooth but red in color.

Symptoms of Psoriasis

The symptoms of Psoriasis vary with the type but generally sufferers experience an itching, burning sensation on the red, scaly, or cracked skin- this generally occurs in the elbows, scalp, knees, finger or toe nails, and back but can form anywhere on the body. If the disease affects a large area of the body or is particularly severe, one may see bleeding from the skin and a difficulty with body functions. This may need hospitalization. There is also an emotional piece to this disease; the social stigma accompanying Psoriasis may affect the self-esteem or behavior of the sufferer.

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