Forms of Psoriasis?

There are 5 major types of psoriasis.

Plaque Psoriasis

Patches of raised red skin covered by a flaky white buildup called scale; this is the most common form of psoriasis.

plaque psoriasisPlaque psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris) is the most common form and it occurs in about 90% of patients. It is characterized by small, red bumps that enlarge, become inflamed, and form scales. The top scales flake off easily and often, but those beneath the surface of the skin clump together. Removing these scales exposes tender skin, which bleeds and causes the plaques (inflamed patches) to grow. Plaque psoriasis can develop on any part of the body, but most often occurs on the elbows, knees, scalp, and trunk.

One person out of 2 who have any form of psoriasis has scalp psoriasis. This form of the disease is characterized by scale-capped plaques on the surface of the skull. The first sign of nail psoriasis is usually pitting of the fingernails or toenails. Size, shape, and depth of the marks vary, and affected nails may thicken, yellow, or crumble. The skin around an affected nail is sometimes inflamed, and the nail may peel away from the nail bed.


Small red dots on the skin, usually appearing on the arms, legs, chest and back.

guttate psoriasis Named for the Latin word gutta, which means “a drop,” guttate psoriasis is characterized by small, red, drop-like dots that enlarge rapidly and may be somewhat scaly. Often found on the arms, legs, and trunk and sometimes in the scalp, guttate psoriasis can clear up without treatment or disappear and resurface in the form of plaque psoriasis.


pustular psoriasisPustular psoriasis usually occurs in adults. It is characterized by blister-like lesions filled with non-infectious pus and surrounded by reddened skin. Pustular psoriasis, which can be limited to one part of the body (localized) or can be widespread, may be the first symptom of psoriasis or develop in a patient with chronic plaque psoriasis. Generalized pustular psoriasis is also known as Von Zumbusch pustular psoriasis. Widespread, acutely painful patches of inflamed skin develop suddenly. Pustules appear within a few hours, then dry and peel within two days. Generalized pustular psoriasis can make life-threatening demands on the heart and kidneys.

Palomar-plantar pustulosis (PPP) generally appears between the ages of 20 and 60. PPP causes large pustules to form at the base of the thumb or on the sides of the heel. In time, the pustules turn brown and peel. The disease usually becomes much less active for a while after peeling. Acrodermatitis continua of Hallopeau is a form of PPP characterized by painful, often disabling, lesions on the fingertips or the tips of the toes. The nails may become deformed, and the disease can damage bone in the affected area.


inversepsoriasisInverse psoriasis (also called “flexures”) occurs in the armpits and groin, under the breasts, and in other areas where skin flexes or folds. This disease is characterized by smooth, inflamed lesions and can be debilitating.


erythrodermic psoriasisCharacterized by severe scaling, itching, and pain that affects most of the body, erythrodermic psoriasis disrupts the body’s chemical balance and can cause severe illness. This particularly inflammatory form of psoriasis can be the first sign of the disease, but often develops in patients with a history of plaque psoriasis.

Now that I know that I have Psoriasis… what should I be doing?


It is normal to experience a whole range of emotion at first. At least you know for sure what you have and you can start the treatment and healing process. Take some time to let your diagnosis sink in and take this time to learn more about it. Talk to a member of your family or a friend. Write down in your personal journal what you are going through… it may help you. Talk to your doctor. They will answer your questions.

Get in touch with us. We can help you with our peer to peer program and support.