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Symptoms of Psoriasis

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Symptoms of Psoriasis

These are the five types of psoriasis and their symptoms. A person may have more than one.


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Plaque Psoriasis

This is the most common type. Problems may be:

  • Red, raised skin patches (plaques) topped by silvery-white scales that shed
  • Patches that often are on both sides of the elbows, knees, scalp, buttocks, or lower back
  • Patches that join to form large areas on the back and chest
  • On a few areas or on the entire body
  • Painful and cracking skin, often on the hands, fingers, and bottoms of the feet
  • Itchy skin

Some people may also have nail problems, such as:

  • Pitting
  • A yellow-red nail bed
  • Build up under the nail
  • Nails that pull away from the skin

Guttate Psoriasis

This type results in small, red dots on the torso, arms, or legs.

Pustular Psoriasis

This type results in pus-filled blisters and red skin. It can happen on the hands and feet with or without patches. There is also a form that can cover most of the body. The blisters appear, dry, and then peel over several days. A person may also have a fever.

Inverse Psoriasis

This type results in:

  • Smooth, pink or red, mostly dry patches without scales
  • A rash that may be painful and get worse with friction and sweating

Erythrodermic Psoriasis

This is a rare, severe type that needs to be treated right away. It results in:

  • Red, swollen, scaly skin over most of the body
  • Scales that peel off in large pieces
  • Painful, itchy skin


  • Psoriasis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/psoriasis. Accessed March 25, 2022.
  • Psoriasis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin diseases. Available at: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/psoriasis. Accessed March 25, 2022.
  • Psoriasis resource center. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis. Accessed March 25, 2022.


  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.