Psoriasis plaques appear as raised, inflamed, and scaly patches of skin that may also be itchy and painful. On Caucasian skin, plaques typically appear as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells or scale. On skin of color, the plaques may appear darker and thicker and more of a purple or grayish color or darker brown.
Plaques can appear anywhere on the body, although they most often appear on the scalp, knees, elbows, and torso. Plaques generally appear symmetrically on the body, affecting the same areas of the body on the right and left sides.
Plaque psoriasis often accompanies nail psoriasis which may look like discoloration, pitting, or separation of the nail from the nail bed.