Psoriasis symptoms vary by individual, the severity of the outbreak, and the type of psoriasis they have. There are, however, a number of psoriasis signs that are common to most individuals and types of psoriasis, and these symptoms can be used to determine whether psoriasis is the cause of your skin condition. Generally, signs of psoriasis appear spontaneously and can disappear just as suddenly. Psoriasis episodes are sporadic, and can appear frequently or infrequently, with either short or long periods of time between outbreaks. It is rare for an individual to experience all of the psoriasis symptoms simultaneously, and most people have only one or two symptoms at a time. If you experience any of the following signs of psoriasis or suspect you may be suffering from psoriasis, it’s important to talk to your doctor right away. Our Diagnostic Center is available to evaluate your skin condition to determine whether you have psoriasis or any other serious skin condition.
The most common symptoms and signs of psoriasis include:
- Cracked, dry skin that causes discomfort and, occasionally, bleeding. This symptoms is usually what leads patients to seek care for their skin condition.
- Thick red patches of skin covered in silvery scales. This rash is the signature mark of psoriasis, especially plaque psoriasis.
- Smaller patches of skin with scaling. Most common in children and often misidentified as a heat rash.
- Lesions or patches of skin that are itchy, sore, or accompanied by a burning sensation.
- Nails that are thick, pitted, or marked by ridges, seen in nail psoriasis or as a secondary symptom of other types of psoriasis. Most often mistaken for an infection or fungus. Discoloration and brittleness may also be present.
- Stiff joints, while uncommon, may also be seen in patients with psoriasis. Often misdiagnosed as arthritis.
Psoriasis is not a constant condition, as it tends to move in cycles. Psoriasis will commonly flare up for weeks or months at time, and then seem to disappear for a while before symptoms reappear, usually multiple times over the course of a lifetime. Complete remission of psoriasis is very rare, but does happen occasionally. Similarly, the severity of symptoms will generally also vary from episode to episode, with some being more mild or severe than others. More extreme flare ups can be extremely painful and even debilitating. Symptoms and severity will also vary by individual, with some individuals experiencing more severe or mild flare ups than others. In other words, no two cases of psoriasis are alike, and no two flare ups are alike. Currently, there is no cure for psoriasis, so you will need to work closely with your doctor to treat the symptoms and avoid flare ups when possible.
If you are experiencing more than one of the symptoms listed above, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with psoriasis and should seek treatment as soon as possible. Only a doctor can diagnose psoriasis, however, so it’s important that you report all of your symptoms to a doctor right away. The sooner you receive a diagnosis, the sooner you can begin treatment to help keep your psoriasis under control. Our Diagnostic Center is a great place to start the diagnostic process. Our physicians can examine your current symptoms and review your medical history to determine whether psoriasis is the cause of your skin condition. Once diagnosed, we’ll discuss your diagnosis with you and help you understand the facts about psoriasis, as well as the various treatment options available to you. Our goal at New Life Dermatology is to provide superior treatment options to help control your symptoms through education, at-home care, and medical intervention, so you can get back to the life you love.