Psoriatic DiseasePsoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic disease (PD) is a lifelong condition that includes psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are caused by an overactive immune system, which is called an autoimmune disease. Psoriasis involves the immune system mistakenly signaling the body to make skin cells too quickly. This rapid build-up of skin cells can result in scaly patches or plaques, pustules, redness, and swelling, as well as inflammation.
There are several types of psoriasis:
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis. Those with plaque psoriasis often experience raised, silvery scaled patches of skin (called plaques) that can be itchy and painful. Plaque psoriasis most often occurs on elbows, knees, hands, lower back, and the scalp.
Inverse psoriasis is the second most common type of psoriasis. With inverse psoriasis the skin becomes smooth, deep red, and inflamed. Inverse psoriasis most commonly affects body folds, like armpits, under the breasts, and around the genitals.
Guttate psoriasis is the third most common type of psoriasis. Guttate psoriasis causes small, round, red spots that are raised and scaly. Guttate psoriasis commonly happens on the arms, legs, stomach and chest.
Pustular psoriasis is a rarer form and appears as painful, pus-filled bumps that may be surrounded by inflamed skin.
Erythrodermic psoriasis is the rarest and most serious form of psoriasis and can be life threatening. Erythrodermic psoriasis causes intense redness, pain and itching. This type of psoriasis can also cause the skin to shed in large sheets. Other serious side effects of erythrodermic psoriasis include dehydration, changes in heart rate and temperature, as well as nail changes.
Another element of psoriatic disease is psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis occurs in about one-third of people with psoriasis and most people develop psoriasis before having symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis causes the immune system to mistakenly attack the joints and areas where tendons and ligaments connect to bone. This results in pain, swelling, stiffness and inflammation in these areas. Psoriatic arthritis can vary from person to person. It’s important it’s treated because untreated psoriatic arthritis can lead to permanent joint damage. Psoriatic arthritis can change over time and affect different areas of the body. Common areas include fingers, toes, elbows, knees, and the spine.