About 7.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from psoriasis. It is a condition in which skin cells build up and form scales and red itchy, dry patches. The impact of psoriasis ranges from annoying to life-altering depending on the location and the extent of the disease. Despite what some think, it is not contagious. It’s caused by a combination of genetics and environmental triggers like stress, sunburn, allergies, diet, certain medications and even the weather. There are different types of psoriasis and while you can have any type appear on any part of your body, some are more likely to show up in certain places than others.
1) Elbows and Knees – This is the most common spot and is often plaque psoriasis, a form of the disease that appears as raised, red patches covered with silvery white buildup of dead skin cells.
2) Scalp – Also a common spot for plaque psoriasis. It can range from mild, slight scaling to thick, crusted plaques that covers the entire scalp.
3) Face – It’s not common for someone to suffer facial psoriasis, however when it does it affects a person’s eyebrows, the skin between their nose and upper lip, upper forehead and hairline.
4) Hands and Feet – When psoriasis appears here it is called palmar-plantar psoriasis. This is very painful and skin becomes scaly, fissured and sometimes blistered or red.
5) Nails – Often thought to be a fungal infection, psoriasis can impact the nails. It causes a yellowish discoloration and can even lift the nail plate off the bed.
6) Genitals – Genital psoriasis looks like psoriasis that shows up on other parts of your body, but psoriasis that can appear in skin folds (like the groin) often appears smooth and shiny with a waxy appearance and doesn’t usually have scales like plaque psoriasis.
7) Skin Folds – This is called inverse psoriasis and often shows up as very red lesions that can appear behind the knee, in the armpits and even in the rear end. It can also appear under the breasts and is often irritate by rubbing and sweating.
If you suspect that you have psoriasis, call your dermatologist. While psoriasis is a life-long condition, there are various treatment options available including creams and lotions for more mild cases and medications for the more severe cases.