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The Signs and Symptoms of Psoriasis

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

When Your Psoriasis Treatment Isn't Working

To describe his battle against psoriasis, Alan Eisenberg likes to quote John Paul Jones, the famed Revolutionary War mariner: “I have not yet begun to fight.” For six years, the Portland, Ore., resident has been trying treatments for his skin condition. Methotrexate helped his nails, but didn’t cure the skin outbreaks. He says the prescription drug Enbrel worked for six months, then lost its effect. Another drug gave him hives. Yet another worked better, but put him at risk of infections. He had...

Read the When Your Psoriasis Treatment Isn't Working 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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