Pustular Psoriasis Symptoms continued...
The most common places these pustules appear are the anal and genital area and bends and folds in your skin. Pustules may appear on the face, but this is unusual. Pustules can appear on the tongue, which may make it difficult to swallow. They can also occur under your nails and cause your nails to come off.
Within a day, the pustules fuse together and form "lakes" of pus that dry and peel off in sheets. The skin underneath is a smooth reddish surface, on which new pustules can appear. These episodes of pustules appearing, fusing and peeling, and reappearing can last for days to weeks. They can make you uncomfortable and exhausted. In two to three months, a phase involving hair loss can occur.
Once the pustules improve, most of your other symptoms (such as headache and fever) will usually disappear. However, in some people, the skin may remain bright red, and skin symptoms of nonpustular psoriasis may continue.
The ring-shaped type is more common in young children. This type tends to be subacute or chronic, and the symptoms are less severe than in the generalized type. Ring-shaped plaques (elevated areas) appear and are often recurrent. Pustules may appear at the edges of the ring. These areas of skin symptoms appear mostly on the trunk but also on the arms and legs. The edges expand, and the center heals. Other symptoms are either absent or mild.
The juvenile, or infantile, type of pustular psoriasis is usually mild. Other symptoms besides skin symptoms are seldom present. The condition often resolves on its own.
Pustular psoriasis of the palms and soles is usually chronic and may be associated with bone or joint inflammation. The palms or soles are red with white or yellow pustules.
When to Seek Medical Care
Visit your doctor if you have a rash of raised, pus-filled bumps on your skin, especially if you have generalized symptoms such as headache, fever, chills, joint pain, a feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness, decreased appetite, and nausea.
Visit your doctor any time you have sores of any type in your mouth or throat that make it difficult for you to breathe or swallow.
Exams and Tests
Your doctor may perform blood tests, including the following:
- A complete blood count (CBC)
- A urine sample
- A small sample of a pustule’s contents to perform a culture
Pustular Psoriasis Treatment
People with the generalized form of pustular psoriasis are often admitted to the hospital to make sure they have adequate fluid intake and bed rest and don’t lose too much heat or have too much strain on the heart. Bland compresses are applied to the skin, and saline (saltwater) solutions and oatmeal baths help to soothe and heal affected areas. In children with pustular psoriasis, this treatment is often all that’s needed.