The characteristic symptoms of psoriasis are the presence of hyperkeratotic plates, raised shiny and red skin lesions predominantly localized on elbows and knees. There are several types of psoriasis; therefore, symptoms vary in severity and complications from case to case.
Most common symptoms of psoriasis are as follows:
- raised red skin areas (skin plates) with glossy surface crusts. Skin plates may have different locations, but most often are found on the elbows, knees, scalp, hands, legs and lower sacral region. About 90% of people with psoriasis have skin lesions of this type
- small bleeding areas, results of scaling of skin lesions (known as Auspitz' sign)
- thinner or thicker crusts localized on the scalp
- pruritus (itching), especially in the exacerbated stages of the disease, with predilection in lesions of skin folds (under the breasts, the armpits, buttocks)
- nail changes are found in approximately 50% of patients with psoriasis. These include:
- small spots on nails and around them (without evidence of fungal onychomycosis infections)
- yellowing of the toenails and exceptionally of the fingernails
- separation of nail from nail bed (from its root)
- exceptionally, fine skin tissue deposits under nails (bundles).
Other symptoms, rarely found in people with psoriasis are:
- mirrored skin plates (bilaterally, id est in both elbows and both knees)
- skin lesions like water drops. This type of lesion appears most commonly in secondary psoriasis due to streptococcal throat infections and is called gouty psoriasis. This type of psoriasis is encountered in 10% of all cases of psoriasis
- arthralgia (joint pain), arthritis with joint stiffness (swelling of the joints and reduction of their mobility) and periarticular edema. This type of psoriasis is called psoriatic arthritis and it is encountered in approximately 5-10% of all people with psoriasis.of all people Koebner phenomenon may occur in some people with psoriasis who have suffered an injury (burning, excessive exposure to sunlight, cut), within a skin region unaffected by psoriasis.
This phenomenon consists in the appearance of characteristic psoriatic lesions, within a few days to 2 weeks after acute injury. Since this phenomenon is frequently encountered in medical practice, people with psoriasis are advised to avoid skin injuries and excessive sun exposure as far as it is possible.
We should mention that there are several dermatologic diseases that have symptoms and skin lesions similar to those occurring in psoriasis. Also, some drugs can determine skin adverse reactions (red thickened skin), similar to skin plates in psoriasis.