National Psoriasis Foundation

 

Types of Psoriasis

Psoriasis appears in a variety of forms with distinct characteristics. Typically, an individual has only one type of psoriasis at a time. Generally, one type of psoriasis will clear and another form of psoriasis will appear in response to a trigger.

Plaque Psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris)Plaque psoriasis (psoriasis vulgaris) on knees

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease and appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells or scale. These patches or plaques most often appear on the scalp, knees, elbows and lower back. They are often itchy and painful, and they can crack and bleed.

Learn about plaque psoriasis »


GuttateGuttate psoriasis on torso

Guttate [GUH-tate] psoriasis is a form of psoriasis that often starts in childhood or young adulthood. This is the second most common type of psoriasis, after plaque psoriasis. About 10 percent of people who get psoriasis develop guttate psoriasis.

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InverseInverse psoriasis in armpit

Inverse psoriasis (also known as intertriginous psoriasis) shows up as very red lesions in body folds. It may appear smooth and shiny. Many people have another type of psoriasis elsewhere on the body at the same time.

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PustularPustular psoriasis on arm

Pustular [PUHS-choo-lar] psoriasis in characterized by white pustules (blisters of noninfectious pus) surrounded by red skin. The pus consists of white blood cells. It is not an infection, nor is it contagious.

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ErythrodermicErythrodermic psoriasis on knees

Erythrodermic [eh-REETH-ro-der-mik] psoriasis is a particularly inflammatory form of psoriasis that often affects most of the body surface. It may occur in association with von Zumbusch pustular psoriasis. It is a rare type of psoriasis, occurring once or more during the lifetime of 3 percent of people who have psoriasis. It generally appears on people who have unstable plaque psoriasis. This means the lesions are not clearly defined. Widespread, fiery redness and exfoliation of the skin characterize this form. Severe itching and pain often accompanies it.

NOTE: Individuals having an erythrodermic psoriasis flare should see a doctor immediately. This form of psoriasis can be life-threatening.

Learn about erythrodermic psoriasis »


Learn more about treating specific forms of psoriasis »

National Psoriasis Foundation Our Mission: To drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected.