If you have realized that there is something not quite right with your skin, that it is dry, flaking, and strangely colored, you may have psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition in which the body is simply producing too much skin. As new skin cells are created, old skin cells have not yet died off and are still a part of your skin layer. Too many layers are building up at one time, and your blood vessels are trying to keep this skin healthy (as it is still alive), which is why you will see redness and experience swelling. It is not pleasant to hear, but now that you understand what your skin is going through, you need to give it close attention to try and give yourself and your skin as much ease as possible.
To do so, it is important for you to know which type of psoriasis you have. Each type will appear in different areas of your body and have different factors that aggravate it. Understanding these things can help you prevent further irritation of your psoriasis and help to give you some control over your condition.
Plaque Psoriasis: This is the most common form for psoriasis to take, and the majority of people with psoriasis deal with this type. Certain areas of your skin are raised, tender, and the top layer of skin looks like silvery white scales. Areas affected most often on the elbows, hands, feet, back, scalp, and knees, but plaque psoriasis can spread to different areas of the body as well.
Flexural psoriasis: Skin affected with flexural psoriasis still will be inflamed; however these areas will not be textured. Instead they will be smooth and appear in folds of skin. Areas affected can be around armpits, under breasts, and around genitals. These areas are particularly prone to friction and perspiration, both of which can irritate your psoriasis. These sensitive spots are also susceptible to fungal infections, so be sure to keep areas clean and as sweat-free as possible.
Guttate psoriasis: This form does appear as patches, but rather small spots. Usually these will be shaped like ovals or raindrops and can cover a wide area of the body. If you find numerous small spots on your arms, legs, torso, and / or scalp, there is a good chance you have guttate psoriasis. Occidentally people ill with strep throat will also have guttate psoriasis. This form also may clear up on its own.
Pustular psoriasis: A more unpleasant form of psoriasis, pustular psoriasis will appear as pustules on the body. These pustules, though they will be raised and tender, contain noninfectious pus. You may find that the skin around these pustules is also red and sore.