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 find out more about this disease and urgently visit a dermatologist.

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

For psoriasis at any stage, 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 slow manifestations. In any case, in the absence of medical treatment, the disease progresses and captures increasingly 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, joining into plaques covered with horny scales. It is very important to diagnose psoriasis in the early stages so that treatment can begin immediately. The outcome of the treatment will be remission for a long time, in some cases for 3-4 years.

Psoriasis is characterized by the following spots 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 the type of psoriasis that the dermatologist diagnoses.

psoriasis on the nailsbody psoriasis symptomspsoriasis on the scalppsoriasis on the handsfoot psoriasisskin nodules in psoriasis

The rash is still unhealthy, but with the following symptoms it is most likely associated with psoriasis:

  • The spots are red, have a slight swelling and are covered with scales (dead cells) that flake off.
  • Plaques appear everywhere, most often in 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 are accounted for.

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

Named in reverse, flexion surface psoriasis is made up of smooth, slightly protruding red patches that are unlikely to flake off. Localization of spots mainly in skin folds: 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 the natural friction during movement, sweating. Inverse psoriasis, if left untreated, can be accompanied by streptococcal pyoderma or fungal diseases.

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

One of the most serious 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, flakes off easily, but is difficult to treat. Place of localization: lower legs and forearms.

Psoriatic onychodystrophy develops on the fingernails and toenails. This shape leads to nail changes. They may change color, cross dots or lines appear. The most 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 mainly affects the fingers. In some cases, psoriasis can affect the hip, knee, and spine joints. This leads to psoriatic spondylitis. With pronounced forms of psoriatic spondylitis, the patient cannot move independently.

Erythrodermal psoriasis is characterized by large areas of inflammation, it can occur against the background of exacerbation of psoriasis vulgaris. With large 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 several cases.

symptoms of psoriasis on the head

It appears on the scalp, behind the ears. The papules in these points itch, can be chapped, wet.

On the body

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

On the hands

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 the 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 become infected. It is dangerous that if left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can develop.

On the face

It rarely occurs in this area. It affects the area of the nasolabial folds, the eye area, the cheeks. Sometimes it spreads to the mucous membrane of the tongue, cheeks.

On the nails

In appearance, it can be confused with a mushroom, it begins with stitches, grooves and ends with a complete exfoliation.

The onset of psoriasis in children

The childhood version of the disease, especially in infants, is symptomatic and can often be confused with diaper rash or diaper rash. Subsequently, in the 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 children.

Also, psoriasis can be expressed in a child on the head, such cases are characterized by scabs, when they peel off small wounds remain. In any case, you shouldn't treat your child alone because you know what psoriasis looks like 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 shown that psoriasis in childhood, especially up to 10 years old, occurs due to genetics, eg. there were relatives in the family with a similar disease. Subsequent cases are associated with other causes.

If we combine all the factors that provoke psoriasis, then the fault of its manifestation may be the following:

  1. alcohol abuse
  2. genetic heritage
  3. excessive hygiene
  4. dry skin
  5. fatigue
  6. taking medications
  7. staph and fungal infections

Treatment in the initial stage

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

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


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

Prescription of drugs 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 psoriasis looks 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, so by the end of the summer the size of the plaques will significantly decrease. 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. Simple preparation: 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 affected areas with psoriasis at night, every day.

You can also prepare a fat-based ointment, which helps a lot in the treatment of psoriasis. You need to take 300 g of fat, 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 make therapeutic baths with the addition of sea salt or, for example, nuts. It is useful to take such a bath not only in the early stages, but also during an exacerbation of the disease. For a bath, you need to prepare leaves or shells, about 400 g, pour boiling water over them, leave for 10 minutes, 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 entirely clear why it takes certain forms. The disease can occur after stress, immune system failures, past infections or at a genetic level.

To protect yourself from relapses, you need to give up bad habits. In addition, doctors advise to moisturize dry skin well and, if possible, avoid burns, hypothermia and skin injuries. Also, 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 diagnose yourself from a photo and, even more so, prescribe treatment without having the necessary knowledge for it.