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Psoriasis rash

Any child with a chronic or recurrent rash that is unresponsive to prescribed treatment deserves a trip to a Pediatric dermatologist. With psoriasis, most kids have seen several doctors, even dermatologists, before the diagnosis is confirmed. Psoriasis is often not even considered in children because the average age of onset is 28 years (Dermatology Clinics, 1998; 16:593-608). Also, at least five different patterns of the psoriasis rash exist, all of which look quite different, adding to the likelihood of a missed diagnosis.

The five recognized forms of psoriasis include:

  • Guttate, in which the skin looks as if a hot liquid has splattered on it.
  • Plaque, the most common, with raised red patches and silvery scales.
  • Inverse, in which the rash is mostly on flexion creases, such as the inside of the elbows.
  • Erythrodermic, with sheets of reddened, scalded-appearing skin.
  • Pustular, with multiple little pimples.

One or more of these forms can appear simultaneously in a person with psoriasis, and the disease can shift from one form to another.

Although psoriasis is a long-term, recurrent problem for most who have it, the extent of the problem varies from quite mild to quite debilitating. It might be only a mild scalp condition, easily controlled with the appropriate, over-the-counter shampoo. It might show up as temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ), geographic tongue, or pitted nails. Or, for 5% to 10%, it might include the swollen hands and feet of psoriatic arthritis.

People with psoriasis may suffer discomfort, including pain and itching, restricted motion in their joints, and emotional distress.

In its most typical form, psoriasis results in patches of thick, red skin covered with silvery scales. These patches, which are sometimes referred to as plaques, usually itch and may burn. The skin at the joints may crack. Psoriasis most often occurs on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of the feet but it can affect any skin site. The disease may also affect the fingernails, the toenails, and the soft tissues inside the mouth and genitalia. About 15 percent of people with psoriasis have joint inflammation that produces arthritis symptoms. This condition is called psoriatic arthritis. (Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers About Psoriasis: NIAMS)

People with psoriasis may notice that there are times when their skin worsens, then improves. Conditions that may cause flare-ups include changes in climate, infections, stress, and dry skin. Also, certain medicines, most notably beta-blockers, which are used to treat high blood pressure, and lithium or drugs used to treat depression, may trigger an outbreak or worsen the disease. (Source: excerpt from Questions and Answers About Psoriasis: NIAMS)

When psoriasis develops, patches of skin thicken, redden, and become covered with silvery scales. These patches are sometimes referred to as plaques. They may itch or burn. The skin at joints may crack. Psoriasis most often occurs on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of the feet. The disease also may affect the fingernails, toenails, and the soft tissues inside the mouth and genitalia. About 10 percent of people with psoriasis have joint inflammation that produces symptoms of arthritis. This condition is called psoriatic arthritis. (Source: excerpt from Psoriasis: NWHIC)


Symptoms of a psoriasis rash

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Psoriasis includes those listed below. Note that Psoriasis symptoms usually refers to various symptoms known to a patient, but the phrase Psoriasis signs may refer to those signs only noticeable by a doctor:

  • Recurring attacks of skin rash symptoms
  • Skin rash
  • Small red patches - these gradually expand and become scaly
  • Red plaques (red scales)
  • Silvery scales
  • Skin rash may affect various locations:
  • Elbow rash
  • Knee rash
  • Trunk rash
  • Arm rash
  • Leg rash
  • Scalp rash
  • Back rash
  • Buttocks rash
  • Nail rash
  • Armpit rash
  • Genital region rash
  • Eyebrow rash
  • Skin symptoms
  • Skin pain
  • Skin inflammation
  • Skin itching
  • Cracked skin
  • Skin blisters - common in Pustular psoriasis
  • Restricted joint motion
  • Emotional distress
  • Arthritis - about 10% of cases get arthritis caused by psoriatic arthritis
  • Thickening nails
  • Split nails

The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Psoriasis and Psoriasis rash. This signs and symptoms information for Psoriasis has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Psoriasis signs or Psoriasis symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Psoriasis may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Psoriasis symptoms.


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Psoriasis is a common skin disease that causes raised red skin with thick silvery scales.


Vitiligo is a disorder in which white patches of skin appear on the body

hair loss

Hair loss usually develops gradually and may be patchy or diffuse


Acne is a disorder of the hair follicles and sebaceous oil glands that leads to skin infections


Inflammation of the skin, often a rash, swelling, pain, itching, cracking. Can be caused by an irritant or allergen

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