Early symptoms of psoriasis

PsoriasisAugust is Psoriasis Awareness Month, so let’s anticipate it with the early symptoms of psoriasis. The earliest sign is probably the small scalding spots that are often observed in children. However, the symptoms may develop slowly or suddenly, and they may also come and go and come back again. In general, this condition is characterized by irritated, red, flaky patches of skin on the elbows, knees, middle of the body, the scalp, and pretty much anywhere else on the body.

Psoriasis symptoms:

  • Silvery scale-covered red patches of skin.
  • Dry, cracked skin that may be prone to bleeding.
  • Raised, thick skin.
  • Itching.
  • Burning.
  • Soreness.
  • Thickened, pitted, or ridged nails.
  • Swelling or stiffness of the joints.
  • Genital sores in males.
  • Extreme dandruff.

Nevertheless, the signs and symptoms can vary from one patient to the next, as well as depend on the type of psoriasis.

Types of psoriasis




  • Dry, red skin lesions called plaques covered with silvery scales.
  • Plaques may be itchy or painful and occur anywhere on the body.
  • There may be many plaques or just a few.


  • Pitting.
  • Abnormal nail growth.
  • Discoloration.
  • Nails may loosen and separate from the nail bed, or crumble.


  • Red, itchy areas with silvery-white scales on the scalp and beyond the hairline.


  • Affects mainly young adults and children.
  • May be triggered by a bacterial infection.
  • Causes small sores shaped like water drops on the trunk, arms, legs, and scalp.
  • Sores are covered by a fine scale but are not as thick as plaques.


  • Mostly affects armpits, groin, under the breasts, buttocks, upper eyelids, and around the genitals.
  • Causes smooth patches of red, inflamed skin.
  • Friction and sweating make it worse.
  • May be triggered by fungal infections.


  • An uncommon form that develops quickly in widespread patches or in smaller areas on the hands, feet, or fingertips.
  • Causes pus-filled blisters to appear soon after the skin becomes red and tender.
  • Can also cause fever, chills, itching, and diarrhea.


  • Can cover the whole body with a red, peeling rash that can severely itch or burn.
  • Fast heartbeat.
  • Inability to maintain proper body temperature.

Psoriatic arthritis

  • Inflamed, scaly skin.
  • Pitted, discolored nails.
  • Swollen, painful joints.
  • May cause stiffness and progressive joint damage.

 It is not known exactly what causes the early symptoms of psoriasis in general, but healthcare experts have been able to identify several factors that can trigger an outbreak, including:

  • Viral and bacterial infections.
  • Skin injuries like cuts, scrapes, insect bites, rashes, irritation, or severe sunburns.
  • Stress.
  • Cold weather.
  • Smoking.
  • Excessive alcohol intake.
  • Lithium, high blood pressure medications, antimalarial medicines, iodides, and other prescription drugs.
  • Obesity.

In addition, a family history of psoriasis is among the major risk factors. Moreover, people with a weak immune system due to AIDS/HIV, autoimmune disorders, or chemotherapy may experience more intense symptoms. If left untreated, psoriasis can lead to a series of complications, both physical and psychological.

Psoriasis complications


  • Eye disorders.
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Other autoimmune disease.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Kidney disease.


  • Low self-esteem.
  • Depression.
  • Social isolation.

A psoriasis diagnosis can be made almost sight unseen, but the doctor may run a couple of tests (e.g. physical exam, skin biopsy) to rule out other conditions that resemble psoriasis, such as seborrheic dermatitis, lichen planus, ringworm of the body, or pityriasis rosea. Once the condition has been diagnoses, treatment can take three different forms; topical, phototherapy (light therapy), and oral medications.

Treatment options for the early symptoms of psoriasis


  • Corticosteroids.
  • Vitamin D analogues.
  • Anthralin.
  • Retinoids.
  • Calcineurin inhibitors.
  • Salicylic acid.
  • Coal tar.
  • Moisturizers.


  • Sunlight.
  • UVB phototherapy.
  • Narrow band and UVB therapy.
  • Goeckerman therapy.
  • Photochemotherapy or psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA).
  • Excimer laser.


  • Retinoids.
  • Methothrexate.
  • Cyclosporine.
  • Immune system-altering drugs.

Medical treatment can be complemented at home by taking daily baths, eating fruits and vegetables, applying moisturizers, and avoiding triggers and alcohol.

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