What Are the Different Types of Psoriasis?
Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: July 2016. | Last updated: June 2023
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition in which inflammation in a person’s body can cause symptoms that affect the skin in different ways and in different areas of the body. Plaque psoriasis is by far the most common type of psoriasis, affecting at least 80% of people who have the condition.
Let's break down the different types of psoriasis
However, there are several other types of psoriasis that, although less common, affecting many people around the world.
The other types of psoriasis are:
A person can have more than one type of psoriasis at one time. For instance, a person might have plaque psoriasis as well as one of the other types listed above.
Taking a look at guttate psoriasis?
Guttate psoriasis causes people to develop small, teardrop-shaped plaques scattered over areas of the body. They often appear on the trunk, upper arms, thighs, face, ears, and scalp. Having an infection caused by streptococcal bacteria is frequently a trigger to this form of psoriasis.
Guttate psoriasis is the second most common type of psoriasis and tends to affect children and young adults most often. Researchers estimate that this type of psoriasis affects between 10%-20% of people with the condition1.
Common treatments for guttate psoriasis are topical medicines, antibiotics, medicines made from Vitamin D or Vitamin A, and phototherapy. More severe psoriasis may require treatment with more powerful systemic or biologic therapies.
Read more about guttate psoriasis.
Get the scoop on inverse psoriasis
Inverse psoriasis is also called flexural psoriasis. It is a specific type of psoriasis that occurs only in and around folds and creases in the skin. This type of psoriasis is estimated to affect between 3%-7% of people with the condition2.
Inverse psoriasis causes lesions that usually look smooth, shiny, and pink or red in color. They are not always scaly. The most common places that inverse psoriasis symptoms occur are5:
- Under the arm and in the armpits
- Around the groin
- Under the breasts
- Around the navel
- In the area between the buttocks
- Around the anus
Topical treatments are most commonly used to treat inverse psoriasis symptoms5.
What is pustular psoriasis?
Pustular psoriasis is a rare and serious form of the disease. It causes small, pus-filled blisters called “pustules” to appear on reddened skin, and can be caused by:
- Using certain types of oral and topical medications
- Stopping corticosteroid treatment too quickly
- Staph or strep infections
- Sunlight or phototherapy
It is very important to treat this type of psoriasis carefully because it can cause dangerous complications if left untreated3. Pustular psoriasis affects less than 2% of people with psoriasis and tends to occur more often among older people.
Read more about pustular psoriasis.
How about erythrodermic psoriasis?
Erythrodermic psoriasis is a very rare but extremely serious form of the disease. It can cause a person to develop very red, scaly, and peeling skin over 90% or more of the body. Any flare-up of erythrodermic psoriasis requires immediate medical care, because it can cause complications that are dangerous or even life-threatening.
Only around 1% of people with psoriasis have this form of the disease, which tends to affect older people more frequently. People with erythrodermic psoriasis must be treated in the hospital where they can receive specialist care4.
Read more about erythrodermic psoriasis.