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The Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis

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    The signs and symptoms of psoriasis vary depending on the type you have. Some common signs for plaque psoriasis -- the most common type of psoriasis -- include:

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

    Psoriasis can also be associated with psoriatic arthritis, which causes pain and swelling in the joints. The National Psoriasis Foundation estimates that between 10% and 30% of people with psoriasis also have psoriatic arthritis.

    Recommended Related to Psoriasis

    Choosing a Treatment for Psoriasis

    There isn't a cure for psoriasis, and there isn't a perfect treatment either. Treatment for psoriasis can be demanding and cause side effects. Before treatment, you should make sure that your doctor is comfortable prescribing systemic and biologic medications when they're necessary. Some doctors are reluctant to use these powerful drugs because of their side effects. Caution is important, but experts point out that certain cases demand systemic and biologic medicines. Working with a doctor who understands...

    Read the Choosing a Treatment for Psoriasis article > >

    For the symptoms of rarer forms of psoriasis, see Psoriasis Overview.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on March 01, 2013

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