Plaque – This is the most common form of the disease. 80% of people with psoriasis have this form. It is characterized by raised, inflamed, red lesions covered by a silvery white scale. The skin is very dry, and symptoms include skin pain, itching and cracking. Plaque psoriasis can develop on any part of the body, but most often occurs on the elbows, knees, scalp, and trunk.

Guttate – This form of psoriasis is usually common in children and young adults. This form of psoriasis causes small, red, individual spots on the skin. Guttate lesions usually appear on the trunk and limbs. These spots are not normally as thick or as crusty as lesions of plaque psoriasis.

Inverse – Inverse psoriasis occurs in the armpits and groin, under the breasts, and in other areas where skin flexes or folds. This form of psoriasis appears as smooth, dry areas of skin that are red and inflamed but do not have the scaling associated with plaque psoriasis. Inflamed lesions and can be debilitating.

Pustular – This relatively unusual form of psoriasis affects fewer than 5 percent of all people with psoriasis. Pustular psoriasis usually occurs in adults. This psoriasis causes 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. This form of the disease often requires hospitalization.

Erythrodermic – This psoriasis causes severe itching, scaling, and pain. The skin becomes a fiery red. Erythrodermic psoriasis disrupts the body’s chemical balance and can cause severe illness. If you have this form of psoriasis you should seek medical care from a doctor immediately.

Now that we have discussed what is psoriasis and what are the types of psoriasis, we will go over the psoriasis causes.

The underlying psoriasis cause is unknown. However, it can be genetically inherited or passed from generation to generation. Most researchers agree that the immune system is somehow mistakenly triggered, which speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells. A normal skin cell matures and falls off the body’s surface in 28 to 30 days. But a psoriatic skin cell takes only three to four days to mature and move to the surface. Instead of falling off (shedding), the cells pile up and form the lesions. Possible triggers include: Stress, injury, illness, infection, steroids, and reaction to medications. Psoriasis is not an infection and it is not contagious.

While the exact causes of psoriasis have yet to be discovered, we know that the immune system and genetics play major roles in its development. Most researchers agree that the immune system is somehow mistakenly triggered, which speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells among other immune reactions.

Now that we have gone over what is psoriasis and the psoriasis causes, we will discuss how serious psoriasis is.

Psoriasis is measured in terms of its physical and emotional impact. Physically, if less then 2 percent of the body is involved, the case is considered mild. Between 3 and 10 percent is considered moderate, and more than 10 percent is severe. (The palm of one hand equals 1 percent.)

Psoriasis also is measured by its impact on quality of life. When psoriasis involves the hands and feet, it may also be considered severe because of how it affects a person’s ability to function. Or, if a person’s psychological or emotional well-being is considerably affected, the psoriasis may also be considered severe.

Now that you know what is psoriasis and the psoriasis cause, we will discuss treating it.