What does psoriasis look like, causes, symptoms, photos

red spots in psoriasis

If you suspect that you have this disease, but do not know what psoriasis looks like and how to treat it, you should know more about this disease and visit a dermatologist urgently.

What does psoriasis look like at the initial stage: symptoms, photos

For psoriasis at any stage, skin rashes are characteristic. Even at the very beginning of development, the disease manifests itself in different ways. In some cases, it begins actively, develops rapidly, in others small and sluggish manifestations. In any case, in the absence of medical care, the disease progresses and captures more and more large areas of the skin.

The initial stage of the disease in the form of small rashes (papules) can make diagnosis difficult. Over time, the rash grows, uniting into plaques covered with horny scales. It is very important to diagnose psoriasis in the initial stages so that treatment can begin immediately. The outcome of treatment will be remission for a long time, in some cases for 3-4 years.

Psoriasis is characterized by the following places on our skin:

  1. small of the back
  2. knees and elbows
  3. inguinal folds
  4. head
  5. shins

The disease has several forms, each of them has distinctive features. Depending on where and how exactly the papules appear, it will depend on what kind of psoriasis the dermatologist diagnoses.

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The skin rash is in any case unhealthy, but with the following symptoms, it is most likely associated with psoriasis:

  • The spots are red, have a slight bulge, and are covered with scales (dead cells) that flake off.
  • Plaques appear anywhere, more often the area of the knees and elbows. Sometimes they itch.
  • Nails exfoliate, deform.
  • On the feet, palms, painful blisters that can itch.

What are the forms of psoriasis

The most common form is plaque psoriasis. It is also commonly called ordinary or vulgar. In all cases, up to 90% of diseases of this form occur.

Psoriasis vulgaris is characterized by raised red plaques with gray or white scales. Infected skin is inflamed, easily injured, and bleeds when the scales peel off. Over time, plaques on the skin grow, uniting into large areas, because. called "paraffin lakes".

Referred to as the reverse, psoriasis of the flexion surfaces are smooth, slightly protruding red patches that hardly flake. Localization of spots mainly in the skin folds: the groin and armpits, external genitalia, folds under the abdomen and mammary glands (with obesity).

Spread to other areas of the skin is minimal, but the treatment of this form is complicated due to natural friction during movement, sweating. Inverse psoriasis, if untreated, may be accompanied by streptococcal pyoderma or fungal diseases.

Guttate psoriasis is not so common, it is a complication after streptococcal infections. It is characterized by small, drop-shaped lesions. Another distinguishing feature of guttate psoriasis is the color of psoriatic plaques, ranging from red to purple. The affected area is extensive, most often it is the hips, may occur in other areas of the skin.

One of the most severe forms is attributed to pustular psoriasis. Its symptoms are blisters (pustules) with clear fluid. The skin under and around them is hot and inflamed. When the blisters become infected, the clear fluid fills with pus, easily flakes off, but is difficult to treat. Place of localization - lower legs and forearms.

Psoriatic onychodystrophy develops on the nails of the hands and feet. This form leads to nail changes. They can change color, dots or transverse lines appear. More severe forms are characterized by delamination or complete loss of the nail.

Psoriatic arthritis accounts for only 10% of cases. This form affects the joints and connective tissues. It predominantly affects the fingers. In some cases, psoriasis can affect the hip, knee, and spinal joints. This leads to psoriatic spondylitis. With pronounced forms of psoriatic spondylitis, the patient cannot move independently.

Erythrodermic psoriasis is characterized by large areas of inflammation, it can occur against the background of exacerbation of psoriasis vulgaris. With extensive foci of inflammation, it can be fatal, as the natural ability to thermoregulate is lost.

Development of psoriasis

Psoriasis can affect different parts of the body, with different symptoms. Let's consider different cases.

symptoms of psoriasis on the head

Appears on the scalp, behind the ears. Papules in these places itch, may be cracked, wet.

On the body

The nature of plaques on the body and their intensity depends on the form of psoriasis. Initial psoriasis on the body manifests itself in different ways: from single rashes to large areas.

On hands

The plaques first appear on the elbows, forearms, then spread to the palms and fingers.

On foot

The first manifestations begin on the knees or feet, progressing to other areas.

On elbows and knees

Psoriasis in these areas looks like a red, scaly rash, the skin in these places is rough.

On the palms

Plaques in these places develop when other areas are infected. It is dangerous that, if left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can develop.

On the face

Rarely occurs in this area. Affects the area of nasolabial folds, the area of the eyes, cheeks. Sometimes it spreads to the mucous membrane of the tongue, cheeks.

On nails

In appearance, it can be confused with a fungus, it starts with dots, furrows and ends with complete exfoliation.

The onset of psoriasis in children

The children's version of the disease, especially in infants, is symptomatic and can often be confused with diaper rash or diaper dermatitis. Subsequently, in places of redness, peeling of the upper layers of the skin occurs, accompanied by severe itching. It is extremely important not to bring the disease to this stage, as this brings discomfort to infants.

Also, psoriasis can be expressed in a child on the head, such cases are characterized by crusts, when they peel off, small wounds remain. In any case, you should not treat your child on your own just because you know what psoriasis looks like in order to avoid complications of the disease.

symptoms of psoriasis in a child

Causes of psoriasis

Psoriasis is not contagious, scientists have identified several reasons for its occurrence. In addition, it has been proven that psoriasis in childhood, namely up to 10 years, occurs due to genetics, i. e. there were relatives in the family with a similar disease. Later cases are associated with other causes.

If we combine all the factors that provoke psoriasis, then the following may be to blame for its manifestation:

  1. alcohol abuse
  2. genetic inheritance
  3. excessive hygiene
  4. dry skin
  5. stress
  6. taking medication
  7. staphylococcal and fungal infections

Treatment at the initial stage

If you have been diagnosed with psoriasis, it is imperative to follow a diet and start treatment as early as possible, because beginning psoriasis is easier and faster to cure. Until the psoriasis plaques begin to grow, the dermatologist will most likely recommend external treatment with the following ointments:

  • Naftalan ointment. Prescribed in the initial stages and healing. Relieves inflammation and soothes itching.
  • Sulfur-tar ointment. Relieves inflammation, suitable only for "dry" forms of psoriasis. The ointment must not be applied to the face.
  • Salicylic ointment. Contains salicylic acid, thanks to which scales are softened and easily removed.


In addition to ointments, the treatment consists of physiotherapy procedures (electrosleep, magnetotherapy, ultraviolet radiation, etc. ), medication, vitamin complexes. The full complex is intended for cases with progressive and severe forms.

The prescription of medications is carried out only after the examination and, as a rule, includes a certain group of drugs:

  • antihistamines,
  • diuretics,
  • immunomodulators,
  • immunosuppressants,
  • antidepressants,
  • NSAIDs (a group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs),
  • enterosorbents,
  • vitamin complexes.
what does psoriasis look like

Folk remedies

Traditional treatment, especially in the primary stages, can be combined with traditional treatment recipes. One of these recipes suggests the use of celandine juice. It is necessary throughout the summer to smear the spots with fresh juice, then by the end of the summer the plaques will significantly decrease in size. If you carry out the procedures for three summers in a row, the spots should disappear forever.

With early psoriasis, the following recipe is suitable - ointment from beaten eggs. Preparing simply: 2 eggs, 1 tbsp. l. vegetable oil, beat well and add 0. 5 tbsp. l. acetic acid. This mixture can be stored, but only in a closed container and in a dark place. Use as follows: smear psoriasis-affected areas at night, daily.

You can also prepare a grease-based ointment, which helps a lot in the treatment of psoriasis. You need to take 300 g of grease, 2 chicken yolks and 100 g of linden honey. Use within two weeks. To smear sore spots 3 times a day, leave for 2 hours, then rinse. After two weeks, another batch is prepared by adding 2 tbsp. l. celandine powder. This composition is designed for one hour.

In addition to ointments for psoriasis, you can take therapeutic baths with the addition of sea salt or, for example, walnuts. It is useful to take such a bath not only in the early stages, but also during an exacerbation of the disease. For one bath, you need to prepare leaves or shells, about 400 g. Pour boiling water over them, leave for 10 minutes, and then strain. The filtered solution is intended for a therapeutic bath, it must be taken within half an hour.

How to prevent psoriasis

It is known why plaque psoriasis appears, but it is not fully understood why it takes on certain forms. The disease can manifest itself after stress, failures in the immune system, past infections or at the genetic level.

To protect yourself from relapse, you need to give up bad habits. Also, doctors advise to moisturize dry skin well and, if possible, avoid burns, hypothermia and injury to the skin. In addition, you should be careful when taking antibiotics, vaccines and beta-blockers, as they can provoke an exacerbation.

Avoiding infections, living a healthy lifestyle, not overworking and avoiding stressful situations and worries - these measures will also help prevent psoriasis to some extent.

Psoriasis is a disease that needs treatment, but it can be confused with a similar skin disease. That is why you should not make yourself a diagnosis from a photo, and even more so, prescribe treatment without having the necessary knowledge for this.