Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder. It’s considered an autoimmune disease. This means your immune system harms your body instead of protecting it. More than 7.5 million people in the United States have this condition.

This disease causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. Psoriasis typically affects the outside of the elbows, knees or scalp, though it can appear on any location. Some people report that psoriasis is itchy, burns and stings.

There are different types of psoriasis, and it’s possible to have more than one type

Table of Contents

Symptoms

The signs and Symptoms can vary depending on the type of psoriasis you have. The 5 most common symptoms include.

  • Rashes or patches of red, inflamed skin, often covered with loose, silver-colored scales. In severe cases, the plaques will grow and merge into one another, covering large areas.
  • Itchy, painful skin that can crack or bleed.
  • Small areas of bleeding where the involved skin is scratched.
  • Problems with your fingernails and toenails, including discoloration and pitting. The nails may also begin to crumble or detach from the nail bed.
  • Scaly plaques on the scalp.

psoriasis Causes

While scientists do not know what exactly causes psoriasis, we do know that the immune system and genetics play major roles in its development. Usually, something triggers psoriasis to flare. The skin cells in people with psoriasis grow at an abnormally fast rate, which causes the buildup of psoriasis lesions.

Men and women develop psoriasis at equal rates. Psoriasis also occurs in all racial groups, but at varying rates. About 1.9 percent of African-Americans have psoriasis, compared to 3.6 percent of Caucasians. According to current studies, more than 8 million Americans have psoriasis.

Psoriasis often develops between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can develop at any age. About 10 to 15 percent of those with psoriasis get it before age 10. Some infants have psoriasis, although this is considered rare.

Psoriasis is not contagious. It is not something you can “catch” or that others can catch from you. Psoriasis lesions are not infectious.

What Causes Flare-ups?

Every person with this condition has its own triggers. Things that cause your psoriasis to become active may not affect another person.

If you find out what causes your skin to flare up, you will be better able to control your symptoms.

Psoriasis is an immune system problem. Certain triggers may make your symptoms worse, including

  • Cold, dry weather. Any climate that relieves dry skin will help. Try to spend some time in warm sunny weather and high humidity.
  • Stress. Keep calm and try to stay relaxed. Outbreaks are more likely to pop up when you are anxious.
  • Some medicines. These include some ”beta-blocker” drugs used to treat high blood pressure and heart disease; lithium, a treatment for bipolar disorder; and pills taken to treat malaria. Tell your doctor if you have psoriasis and are being treated for any of these conditions.
  • Infections. There is a shortlist of infections including strep throat and tonsillitis that can trigger a special kind of psoriasis outbreak. It looks like small drops that show up mainly on your torso and limbs. HIV infection can also make it worse.
  • Skin Injury. In some people, the tiniest cuts, bruises, and burns can cause an outbreak. Even tattoos and bug bites might trigger a new lesion. You can wear gloves or put on an extra layer of clothes to avoid a break in your skin.
  • Alcohol. Drinking, especially heavy drinking in young men, may trigger or worsen symptoms and interfere with treatments. Combining certain psoriasis medications with alcohol can have dangerous side effects, especially for women in their child-bearing years.
  • Smoking. Using tobacco or being around second-hand smoke raises your risk of getting psoriasis and makes existing conditions worse.

How is psoriasis diagnosed?

There are no special blood tests or tools to diagnose psoriasis. A dermatologist (the doctor who specializes in skin diseases) or other health care provider usually examines the affected skin and determines if it is psoriasis.

Your doctor may take a piece of the affected skin (a biopsy) and examine it under the microscope. When biopsied, psoriasis skin looks thicker and inflamed when compared to skin with eczema.

Your doctor also will want to learn about your family history. About one-third of people with psoriasis have a family member with the disease.

Types of Psoriasis

Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease and appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery-white buildup of dead skin cells. These patches or plaques most often show up on the scalp, knees, elbows and lower back. They are often itchy and painful, and they can crack and bleed.

Guttate Psoriasis

Guttate [GUH-tate] psoriasis is a form of psoriasis that appears as small, dot-like lesions. Guttate psoriasis often starts in childhood or young adulthood and can be triggered by a strep infection. This is the second-most common type of psoriasis, after plaque psoriasis. About 10 percent of people who get psoriasis develop guttate psoriasis.

Flexural or Inverse Psoriasis

Inverse psoriasis shows up as very red lesions in body folds, such as behind the knee, under the arm or in the groin. It may appear smooth and shiny. Many people have another type of psoriasis elsewhere on the body at the same time.

Pustular Psoriasis

Pustular [PUHS-choo-lar] psoriasis in characterized by white pustules (blisters of noninfectious pus) surrounded by red skin. The pus consists of white blood cells. It is not an infection, nor is it contagious. Pustular psoriasis can occur on any part of the body but occurs most often on the hands or feet.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis

Erythrodermic [eh-REETH-ro-der-mik] psoriasis is a particularly severe form of psoriasis that leads to widespread, fiery redness over most of the body. It can cause severe itching and pain, and make the skin come off in sheets. It is rare, occurring in 3 percent of people who have psoriasis during their lifetime. It generally appears on people who have unstable plaque psoriasis.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a painful and physically limiting condition that affects between 10 and 30 percent of people with psoriasis. There are five types of PsA with varying symptoms. There is also no cure for this type of psoriasis.

Because psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, it can trigger the body to attack the joints and the skin. It can affect many joints and often becomes quite severe in the hands. Skin symptoms usually appear before joint symptoms.

Nail psoriasis

Although not an official type of psoriasis, nail psoriasis is a manifestation of psoriasis. The condition can often be confused with fungal infections and other infections of the nail.

Nail psoriasis can cause:

  • nail pitting
  • grooves
  • discoloration
  • loosening or crumbling of the nail
  • thickened skin under the nail
  • colored patches or spots under the nail

Sometimes the nail can even crumble and fall off. There is no cure for psoriatic nails, but some treatments may improve the health and appearance of nails.

Scalp psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis is common in people with plaque psoriasis. For some people, it may cause severe dandruff. For others, it can be painful, itchy, and very noticeable at the hairline. Scalp psoriasis can extend to the neck, face, and ears in one large patch or many smaller patches.

In some cases, scalp psoriasis can complicate regular hair hygiene. Excessive scratching can cause hair loss and scalp infections. The condition may also cause feelings of social stress.

Self-care for psoriasis

Although there is no one cure for any form of psoriasis, remission and significant healing is possible. Your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan that helps manage your condition. You can also take steps at home to manage psoriasis.

These can include:

  • practicing relaxation techniques to reduce stress
  • moisturizing dry skin
  • quitting smoking
  • avoiding products that irritate your skin
  • wearing comfortable clothing that doesn’t rub the psoriasis
  • eating a healthy diet

Doctors may slowly build-up to the most effective treatment plan for your psoriasis symptoms. Most start with a topical or light therapy treatment and only progress to systemic medications if the first line of treatment is unsuccessful.

Where does psoriasis show up?

Psoriasis can show up anywhere—on the eyelids, ears, mouth, and lips, skin folds, hands and feet, and nails. The skin at each of these sites is different and requires different treatments.

Light therapy or topical treatments are often used when psoriasis is limited to a specific part of the body. However, doctors may prescribe oral or injectable drugs if the psoriasis is widespread or greatly affects your quality of life. Effective treatments are available, no matter where your psoriasis is located.

Scalp

No matter how severe your scalp psoriasis is, there are options for treating the itching and flakes – from over-the-counter shampoos and topicals to light therapy, oral treatments, and biologics.

Mild scalp psoriasis appears as fine scaling, while severe scalp psoriasis is noted by thick, crusted plaques covering the large portions of the scalp. Psoriasis can extend beyond the hairline to the forehead, back of the neck and around the ears.

Other skin disorders, such as seborrheic dermatitis, may look similar to psoriasis. However, scalp psoriasis appears powdery with a silvery sheen, while seborrheic dermatitis looks yellowish and greasy.

Face

Facial psoriasis most often affects the eyebrows, the skin between the nose and upper lip, the upper forehead and the hairline. Psoriasis on and around the face should be treated carefully because the skin here is sensitive.

Hands, Feet, and Nails

Treat sudden flares of psoriasis on the hands and feet promptly and carefully. In some cases, cracking, blisters and swelling accompany flares. Nail changes occur in up to 50 percent of people with psoriasis and at least 80 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis.

Genital Psoriasis

The most common type of psoriasis in the genital region is inverse psoriasis, but other forms of psoriasis can appear on the genitals, especially in men. Genital psoriasis requires careful treatment and care.

Skin Folds

Inverse psoriasis can occur in skin folds such as the armpits and under the breasts. This form of psoriasis is frequently irritated by rubbing and sweating.

Treatment of Psoriasis

Treatment of Psoriasis is very difficult. Some medications available and can be used with Dermatologist advice.

Shampoo

Wild Naturals Eczema Psoriasis Shampoo – Conditioner Set 8oz, 98% Natural, 80% Organic, Sulfate-Free, Soothing Anti Dandruff, Flaky, Itchy, Dry Scalp Treatment for Seborrheic Dermatitis, Damaged Hair

  • MANUKA HONEY, found only in New Zealand, is included for it’s anti-bacterial and special healing qualities. You’ll notice our first ingredient isn’t water – it’s ORGANIC ALOE VERA which soothes and moisturizes deep into your skin. And with CEHAMI, found only in Australia, to stop itching and redness quickly.
  • PERFECTLY pH BALANCED at 5.5 – just like your hair and skin. Using harsh, damaging shampoos can make it harder for your skin to repair itself by stripping away vital natural oils that are key to retaining moisture. Perfect for dry or oily hair, seborrheic dermatitis, hair loss, dandruff, and itchy, dry scalp. Gentle and safe for children and babies.
  • QUALITY INGREDIENTS – This is a non-medicated, concentrated, natural shampoo with no water added – a common first ingredient in other haircare products – we use aloe instead. It’s hypoallergenic and made without harsh chemicals – no SLS, no sulfates, no parabens, no dyes, no fragrance, and no animal testing
  • SOOTHE, MOISTURIZE & PROTECT your hair and scalp without the use of coal tar, steroids, or stinky chemicals.

Dermarest Psoriasis Medicated Shampoo Plus Conditioner | 8 FL OZ | 2 Pack

  • Fragrance-free, medicated shampoo plus conditioner to soften and soothe a dry, irritated scalp
  • Contains 3 percent salicylic acid and zinc complex to treat psoriasis and relieve the symptoms of psoriasis
  • Recognized by the National Psoriasis Foundation
  • Helps remove and prevent scales and treat itching
  • Dermatologist tested; 2 Pack

Puriya Sulfate Free Tea Tree Oil Shampoo for Flaky Dry Scalp 16 oz-Award Winning-Moisturizing, Hydrating, Color Treatment Safe Shampoo for Men, Women. Paraben, Cruelty-Free with Rosemary, Arnica, Sage

  • AWARD-WINNING. TRY IT NOW ~ Awarded the “Family Tested Family-Approved” seal of approval by an independent organization that sends products to parents and families across North America to determine which products they love and use in their own homes. Try it now! If you don’t feel that Puriya Scalp Therapy Shampoo has worked for your dry scalp and dry, brittle or damaged hair, please see Image #6 on how to contact Puriya for your Manufacturer’s Guarantee
  • CLARIFY YOUR DRY SCALP ~ The best proprietary herbal blend of Tea Tree Oil, Arnica, Sage, and Rosemary effectively helps to hydrate your dry scalp. An improvement is noticeable after only a few applications. You may finally wear dark clothes again!
  • DEEPLY HYDRATES SCALP AND HAIR ~ This shampoo hydrates even the driest scalp and most brittle, damaged hair. Hydrate your hair and lock in moisture while rejuvenating your scalp. Continued use will help return your scalp to its healthy best.
  • COMPLETELY AND GENTLY REMOVES RESIDUE & BUILD-UP ~ Puriy’s Scalp Clarifying Shampoo (formerly named Scalp Therapy Shampoo) gently and completely removes build-up from hair. Your hair will have the shine and luster you have always dreamed of. After one wash, your hair will feel silky and easy to brush or comb without feeling oily.
  • PH BALANCED & HARSH CHEMICALS ~ No Sulfates, No Sodium Chloride, No Parabens, Not Tested on Animals, No Artificial Fragrances EVER. It is safe for all hair types including damaged, curly, fine and color-treated hair. Men, women, kids, children and even pets will enjoy the shampoo’s pleasant scent. Proudly made in the USA from domestically and globally sourced ingredients and components.

ArtNaturals Organic Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner Set – (2 x 16 Fl Oz / 473ml) – Sulfate Free – Volumizing & Moisturizing – Gentle on Curly & Color Treated Hair – Infused with Keratin

  • ARGAN OIL: Argan oil is known for its ability to help hair restore, enhance and grow. The natural moisturizer will help repair, dry, brittle and damaged hair from blow drying, flat ironing and sun exposure
  • FOR ALL HAIR TYPES: artnaturals argan oil shampoo and conditioner set is for both men and women, straight or curly hair, blondes or brunettes. This shampoo duo set is the ultimate experience.
  • RESTORATIVE FORMULA: Our natural and organic ingredients help repair hair damage and prevent any effects from heat and excess styling. The hydrating minerals and oils work to hydrate the hair and scalp. Leaving hair feeling soft and refreshed.
  • DEEPLY MOISTURIZING: This powerful moisturizer will wash away all of the excess oils and dirt from your hair to get that beautiful shiny hair. This shampoo set will leave you with no grease and no residue
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEED: ArtNaturals offers a 100% satisfaction guaranteed or your money back. Try it risk-free with no questions asked and top customer service. You have nothing to lose and your health to gain.

Psoriasis Cream and Lotion

Wild Naturals Eczema Psoriasis Cream – for Dry, Irritated Skin, Itch Relief, Dermatitis, Rosacea, and Shingles. Natural 15-in-1 Formula Promotes Healing and Calms Redness, Rash and Itching Fast

  • BE HAPPY IN YOUR OWN SKIN AGAIN – Wild Naturals lotion stops itching quickly, reduces pain, and promotes repair of damaged skin cells, without using a steroid treatment. Our potent ointment uses organic aloe vera as it’s first ingredient, not water like most skincare products. Aloe is an anti-inflammatory and penetrates deep into skin to quickly calm and soothe cracked, flaky, inflamed, or itchy skin.
  • MOISTURIZE & PROTECT YOUR SKIN – Made with manuka honey, a medical-grade honey found only in New Zealand. It has unmatched healing properties and is the most antibacterial honey on earth. It’s also a powerful moisturizer packed with a unique blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that naturally seals in moisture to protect dry, damaged skin
  • CHEMICAL-FREE RELIEF – Our organic 15-in-1 formula is perfectly pH balanced at 5.5 (just like your own skin) – that means it will be easily absorbed, is non-irritating, and won’t disturb your skin – wonderful for sensitive skin. Light and non-greasy. The beauty of non-medicated, natural products is that you can apply as often as needed
  • CONTROL REDNESS & FLAIR UPS – With our cream, you can rescue your skin from severe, dry skin. Use it daily, even hourly, on your face, body, hands, feet or scalp. Hypoallergenic and non-toxic. It contains no petroleum ingredients. We don’t use fragrance or parabens. And no dyes or artificial colors. Gluten-free and absolutely no animal testing. All our products are proudly made in the USA

Puriya Intensive Moisturizing Cream for Sensitive and Irritated Skin, Dermatologist Reviewed, Clinically Tested Plant Rich Formula, Soothes Rough, Dry, Scaly Patches, Trusted by 300,000 Families

  • BEFORE AND AFTER RESULTS YOU HAVE TO SEE ~ With more than 300,000 satisfied customers, our effective, fast-acting face and body cream is strong enough to soothe irritated skin and gentle enough to be used as a daily moisturizer. With more than 4,300 5-star reviews, Mother of All Creams is an award-winning formula you can trust.
  • CLINICALLY TESTED, DERMATOLOGIST REVIEWED ~ Alleviate occasional skin discomfort and itching caused by dryness from the elements with a highly moisturizing cream developed for sensitive skin. Use this face and body lotion on dry, cracked skin to strengthen the skin’s natural barrier against irritants and nature’s harsh elements.
  • PETROLEUM & PARABEN-FREE RASH CREAM ~ Mother of All Creams quickly absorbs to form a hydrating skin barrier that safeguards against the elements and irritating agents that cause rashes. This all-in-one daily moisturizing cream for sensitive skin is gentle enough for children above 5 and safe for long term use.
  • INFUSED WITH BOTANICAL OILS TO SOFTEN AND RESTORE SKIN ~ Experience smooth, soft, and calm skin with 13 skin-nourishing ingredients from nature, including ancient skincare secrets such as honey, shea butter, and aloe vera. Rejuvenating amaranth and jojoba oil deeply penetrate to renew and revitalize dry, rough, irritated skin.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT, NON-GREASY FACE AND BODY FORMULA ~ Dry skin is uncomfortable and itchy. This itch relief cream is a superior skin soothing lotion that penetrates and easily absorbs into the most stubborn places – hands, knees, elbows, and even scalp. Smooth it all over your body for instant, lasting relief and hydration without worrying about leaving an oily residue behind.

Psoriasis & Eczema Cream – Natural Eczema Treatment with Tea Tree Oil, MSM, Honey & Arnica – Made in USA – Powerful Dermatitis, Irritation & Psoriasis Treatment – Steroid-Free Psoriasis Cream – 4OZ

  • BE HAPPY WITH US – Ellieve can alleviate the key symptoms of eczema, including itchiness, redness, scaling, dryness, and irritation. Though eczema is proven to be a genes-related condition, it can be successfully removed from skin for prolonged periods.
  • PROTECT & PREVENT – Delicate blend of American Honey, Cayenne Pepper, and Tea Tree Oil is clinically proven to protect your skin and prevent unwanted outbreaks. Sensitive skin successfully medicated with Ellieve will be saved from stinging and burning sensations of painful rash.
  • MOISTURIZE & REPAIR – Natural powerhouse of most potent nature miracles will effectively moisturize and repair skin with Aloe Vera, Arnica & Coconut oil. Meanwhile, MSM, Collagen, and Turmeric will heal the negative impact on tissues, which is a must for psoriasis treatment.
  • MADE IN USA – Our Eczema & psoriasis cream is made in the USA in consultation with leading American dermatologists. Domestic skincare is made according to the strict laws of the United States, which means no heavy metals, no allergens, no hidden steroids.
  • RELIABLE BRAND FOR FULL HAPPINESS – Research shows significant improvement in 87% of studied cases. Your results are important to us. So if you are not satisfied, write to us and we solve it without a doubt. We know every case is different and want you to feel better!

Amazing Aloe Vera Eczema and Psoriasis Cream with Manuka Honey by Green Leaf Naturals – 4 oz

  • TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR SKIN – Stop itching and stressing out; soothe and relieve skin issues fast
  • SOOTHE AND MOISTURIZE – Packed with moisturizing vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
  • ALOE VERA and MANUKA HONEY – Powerful, natural relief from Mother Nature
  • ABSORBS EASILY – Creamy formula spreads and absorbs quickly to nourish and soothe skin
  • SAFE & EFFECTIVE – Cruelty-free, Paraben-free, Gluten-free, Kosher, 71% Organic, Made in USA

Psoriasis Oil and Ointment

Pur360 Tamanu Oil – Pure Cold Pressed – Best Treatment for Psoriasis, Eczema, Acne Scar, Foot Fungus, Rosacea – Relief for Dry, Scaly Skin, Scalp and More

  • FINEST QUALITY: To ensure authenticity and purity, every batch of Pur360 Tamanu Oil is GC-MS tested by a third-party laboratory. This means you can trust you’re getting the highest quality Tamanu Oil possible – one that is 100% pure, undiluted and free from any added chemicals. Tamanu Oil that is not gc-ms tested may be mixed with other ingredients and fillers, resulting in an oil that is not 100% pure.
  • FOR SKIN: Pur360 Tamanu Oil possesses a unique ability to promote the formation of new tissue, thereby accelerating the growth of healthy skin. This characteristic makes it an ideal treatment for many common skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, acne scars, general scars, burns, stings, mosquito bites, dermatitis, dry scalp, and flaky, scaly or overly dry skin. Use it as a skin conditioner to keep skin youthful, vibrant and glowing. Pur360 Tamanu Oil is also a superb moisturizer.
  • CERTIFIED ORGANIC: Our Tamanu Oil is certified organic by BioGrow, New Zealand’s leading organic certifier. The Tamanu trees used for our oil grow naturally without pesticides or herbicides.

MG217 Psoriasis Multi-Symptom Relief 2% Coal Tar Medicated Ointment – 4 oz Jar

  • One 4 oz jar of MG217 Psoriasis Multi-Symptom Relief 2% Coal Tar Medicated Ointment
  • Made with active ingredient coal tar to help slow cell overgrowth to provide psoriasis relief
  • Use this healing skin ointment with coal tar solution to relieve itching, flaking, redness, and dryness
  • Psoriasis treatment restores healthy appearance of skin while fighting seborrheic dermatitis
  • Multi-symptom medicated ointment designed to retain skin’s natural moisture