Psoriasis is one type of skin disorder which has different forms and several other skin disorders are very much like Psoriasis which is why it is necessary to perform differential diagnosis to figure out whether the lesions are due to Psoriasis or not. Thus by properly diagnosing the problem it becomes easier to implement the right treatment.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease, which has become quite common in recent times and about one to three percent of the population suffers from this chronic disease. Normally there are hardly any symptoms but few people may feel severe itching. As the skin becomes irritated, lesions start to form in the affected area. Some of the common areas that are affected by Psoriasis consist of knees, soles, elbows and scalp. Patients suffer for a long time from this disease and recurrent exacerbations are quite common.
Various Types of Psoriasis
Plaque Type: There are different types of Psoriasis with most common of them being the plaque type. In this type of Psoriasis, the plaques gradually enlarge and the lesions are symmetric with infection in familiar locations such as scalp, elbows and gluteal cleft.
Inverse Psoriasis: This type of Psoriasis targets skin folds like the navel, groin and the sub-mammary regions. Due to the location of these lesions, they can be moist instead of being scaly.
Guttate Psoriasis: This type of Psoriasis is found more in adolescents and small kids. The disease generally follows any type of upper respiratory tract infection and signs like scaling lesions easily help to diagnose this type of Psoriasis.
Pustular Psoriasis: This is localized more in soles as well as palms. The lesions are red pustules and these are of different sizes. Fever generally accompanies this type of Psoriasis, which lasts for many days.
For diagnosis, physical examination is done along with checking patient’s clinical history. In case this basic diagnosis does not reveal anything then biopsy may be required. Some common characteristics that help in diagnosis include bleeding from lesions when disturbed, scaled and silvery formation of the lesions, symmetrical nature of the lesions and lesions on back of legs as well as on elbows.
There are five categories of treatment, namely phototherapy, biologics, topical and combination of these. In topical treatment, steroids and calcineurin inhibitors are used while in phototherapy UVB light and laser treatment can be used. Similarly, in systemic treatments acitretin and methotrexate are used.
Various types of Psoriasis can infect a person and their diagnosis as well as the treatment is largely based on symptoms of any particular type of Psoriasis.