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What are the signs and symptoms of psoriasis?

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Quick Answer

Cracked, dry skin, red skin patches with silvery scales on top of them, burning skin, and stiff, swollen joints are all possible symptoms of psoriasis, according to Mayo Clinic. Outbreaks range in scale from a scattering of spots that look like dandruff to larger attacks covering more of the skin.

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Full Answer

Multiple types of psoriasis exist, including plaque, nail, scalp, guttate, inverse and pustular. Erythrodermic psoriasis is the least common, and psoriatic arthritis leads to swollen joints and discoloration and pitting of the nails, notes Mayo Clinic.

Plaque psoriasis is the most common, causing raised, dry red lesions with silvery scales on top. These itch or hurt and can appear at any point on the body. Nail psoriasis leads to pitting and anomalous growth or discoloration in the toenails and fingernails and even crumbling of the nails in some cases, reports Mayo Clinic.

Scalp psoriasis resembles plaque psoriasis but is limited to the scalp as well as some areas just beyond the hairline. Dead skin often flakes into the hair or onto the shoulders. Guttate psoriasis most commonly affects children and young adults and generally results from strep throat or another type of bacterial infection. Inverse psoriasis tends to strike the armpits, groin, genitals and beneath the breasts, often resulting from friction, perspiration or fungal infections. Pustular psoriasis shows up as blisters filled with pus within hours after the initial redness, states Mayo Clinic.

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