Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease that occurs because of a malfunction in the immune system. It causes skin cells to grow so fast that they build up on the surface of the skin, forming patches of skin that are thick and scaly. While many people are aware of psoriasis, what they may not know is that there are several different types of the disease. If your older family member has been diagnosed with psoriasis, knowing which kind they have can have an impact on the senior’s treatment.
Some of the different kinds of psoriasis are described below.
Plaque psoriasis is the most common of all the psoriasis types. It is also called psoriasis vulgaris and affects about 8 of every 10 people who have psoriasis. The plaques most often form on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. The patches caused by plaque psoriasis look like inflamed areas of red skin. They usually have silvery or whitish scales. The patches may be itchy and can crack and bleed.
Guttate psoriasis accounts for fewer than 2 percent of the diagnosed cases of psoriasis. It usually starts in childhood or young adulthood and is triggered by a strep infection. A person with guttate psoriasis gets small red dots on their body that most often occur on the thighs, scalp, trunk, and upper part of the arms.
Inverse psoriasis causes lesions in folds of the skin that are very red. They typically occur in the armpits, groin, under breasts, and in skin folds around the genitals and buttocks. The lesions are smooth and shiny and do not have scales.
Pustular psoriasis is a rare form of the condition that causes bumps that are filled with pus and surrounded by red skin. They are not infectious, though they may look like they are. This type often occurs on just one part of the body, like the hands or feet. However, it can also affect most of the body. When this happens, doctors call it generalized pustular psoriasis.
Erythrodermic psoriasis is extremely rare, but also the most serious type of the disease. People with this kind of psoriasis have large patches of fiery-red skin that looks burned. People with this kind of psoriasis may also have an increased heart rate, changes in body temperature, and itchy, peeling skin. Because the disease can cause complications like protein and fluid loss, pneumonia, or congestive heart failure, if your older family member shows signs they should be treated right away.
Regardless of the kind of psoriasis your older family member has, home care service providers can assist them to manage the condition. A home care services provider can remind the senior to use the medications suggested by the doctor. In addition, a home care services provider can assist with applying moisturizer to the skin and help to avoid things that can trigger a psoriasis flare up.
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