What You Should Know About Psoriasis Symptoms
By Khrystyana Kirton
Edited by Stephanie Dawson
Psoriasis is a common skin disease that affects the life cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin, forming thick silvery scales and itchy, dry, red patches that are sometimes painful. This is a persistent, long-lasting (chronic) disease. There may be periods when the psoriasis symptoms improve or go into remission alternating with times it worsens. For some people, psoriasis is just a nuisance. For others, it’s disabling, especially when associated with arthritis. There’s no cure, but psoriasis treatments may offer significant relief. Lifestyle measures, such as using a nonprescription cortisone cream and exposing skin to small amounts of natural sunlight, can improve psoriasis symptoms.
Psoriasis signs and symptoms can vary from person to person but may include one or more of the following:
- Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales
- Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
- Itching, burning or soreness
- Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
- Swollen and stiff joints
Psoriasis patches can range from a few spots of dandruff-like scaling to major eruptions that cover large areas. Mild cases of psoriasis may be a nuisance; more severe cases can be painful, disfiguring, and disabling.