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7 Telltale Symptoms of Psoriasis

7 Telltale Symptoms of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that can make you miserable with intense itching and sometimes pain. But it’s also much more than a bothersome rash.

People who have psoriasis have it for their lifetime. While the condition is active, it affects your quality of life, from disrupting your sleep and making it hard to concentrate to causing extreme embarrassment over your appearance.

Getting medical care is one of the best steps to improve psoriasis. At Allure DermatologyTheresa Durchhalter, DO, FAAD, has extensive experience providing personalized treatments that alleviate psoriasis plaques, ease your symptoms, and reduce psoriasis flare-ups.

Early treatment intervention goes a long way toward keeping psoriasis under control. Don’t wait to schedule an appointment if you have any of these seven telltale symptoms.

Dry, red patches of skin (plaques)

Plaque psoriasis affects 80%-90% of people with psoriasis, making it the most common type. This condition begins when skin cells (keratinocytes) grow faster than usual, forming a thickened area of dry skin that’s red and inflamed.

Silvery scales over the plaque

Psoriasis plaques take on a silvery, scaly appearance. This occurs because the damaged cells don’t release lubricating lipids, leading to a coating of dry, flaky skin over the thickened area.


Most people with plaque psoriasis have intense itching. Itching poses a big problem that needs treatment because scratching to relieve the itch damages your skin and leads to psoriasis flare-ups and pain.


In severe cases, the dry plaques may crack and bleed. This can signal the start of deep cracks and open sores that are hard to heal.

Small, round, pimple-like lesions

Though uncommon, pustular psoriasis may appear alone or with plaque psoriasis. This type of psoriasis causes yellow or white, pus-filled bumps (pustules) on top of red, inflamed skin.

Pustular psoriasis affects 3% of people with plaque psoriasis and most often appears on your hands and feet. However, you can develop widespread skin inflammation and pustules.

The widespread condition, called generalized pustular psoriasis, may also cause a fever, severe itching, muscle weakness, and a change in your heart rate. This condition needs immediate medical attention.

Deformed, thickened nails

About half of people with psoriasis develop symptoms on their nails, usually affecting several fingernails or toenails. Nail symptoms may appear along with plaque psoriasis. They’re also a common sign of psoriatic arthritis.

You develop nail deformities such as:

You may also have red, thickened skin on your palm or the bottom of your foot.


Nail psoriasis causes severe enough pain to limit your hand or foot use. Pustular psoriasis is known for causing sore, painful skin around the pustules.

The thickened patches of plaque psoriasis often cause pain, especially if injury occurs due to scratching.

You will develop joint pain if you have psoriatic arthritis (psoriasis and arthritis). Psoriatic arthritis is similar to rheumatoid arthritis as it causes joint inflammation and swelling that typically begins in the small joints of your hands and feet.

Treatment relieves your symptoms

No matter what type of psoriasis you have, or the symptoms that appear, it's essential to get medical care. We provide treatments that relieve symptoms, heal your skin, and, most importantly, help keep your psoriasis in remission.

If you need help with a skin condition, call Allure Dermatology or book an appointment online today.

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