Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder in which your skin produces skin cells much faster than normal. This causes them to build up into thick, flaky, itchy, inflamed patches. There are several types of psoriasis, including plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, nail psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and several other types that are rare. Common areas of the body where psoriasis develops include the scalp, torso, arms, thighs, armpits, groin, and on the fingernails and toenails. There’s also the very painful psoriatic arthritis, in which both the skin and the nearby joints are stiff and inflamed. While psoriasis most commonly appears in people between the ages 15 to 35, approximately 10% of people who develop psoriasis will be under the age of 10 when symptoms appear and 4% will have their first sign of psoriasis occur over the age of 60.
Symptoms of psoriasis, especially early on, can be similar to other conditions like eczema or skin allergies. However, as time goes on, the physical symptoms of psoriasis can worsen including itchy, flaking skin that bleeds or cracks and thick, discolored, and/or ridged nails.
Some of the most damaging symptoms of psoriasis occur internally with the emotional distress one faces with psoriasis, as well as psoriatic arthritis which occurs in 30% of people who are affected by the disease. Psoriatic arthritis is painful and affects the joints most commonly in the fingers and toes, feet and lower back. Also, there is a higher rate of heart disease, stroke and other internal diseases associated with psoriasis.