Psoriasis Plaques: Rupioid, Elephantine, Lichenified and Koebnerized Plaques
Psoriasis plaques represent the first indication that someone is
experiencing a psoriasis outbreak, characterized by bright red, inflamed
lesions overlaid with silvery-white scales, which are dead skin cells.
These plaques are commonly found on the knees, elbows, lower back and
scalp but can appear anywhere on the body.
These lesions cause
symptoms of unrelenting itching, burning, swelling and soreness,
sometimes so severe that they debilitate the psoriasis patient,
restricting movement and making it almost unbearable to wear everyday
In addition, the physical pain of psoriasis compounded by the
emotional pain frequently forces people to become housebound due to
embarrassment and self-consciousness of the unsightly plaques.
The silver scales covering red lesions have various additional characteristics such as:
- Plaques are slighted elevated above the skin unaffected by psoriasis.
can be pea-sized or several inches across. Lesions may grow until they
overlap with other lesions, creating large areas of psoriasis.
shapes are generally oval but may exhibit irregularities, especially
when certain areas of the plaques are scratched more than others.
- Plaques covering joints, feet and palms may crack and split forming fissures deep enough to cause bleeding.
plaques exhibit a pale, whitish "halo" around the edges, medically
referred to as Woronoff rings. Doctors think this phenomenon is due to
plaques releasing a prostaglandin inhibitor substance that reduces the
amount of capillary-dilating prostaglandins affecting the lesions. This
means skin surrounding psoriasis plaques contains less blood than
- Color of plaques is often deemed
"salmon-colored" rather than red. In addition, when psoriasis affects
legs, it may exhibit a blue tinge.
psoriasis lesions are usually symmetrically opposed on the body. For
example, a patient with psoriasis on one knee or elbow will have the
same size lesion on the other knee or elbow.
- Scalp psoriasis is dry, crusty, and scaly, but people often confuse it with seborrheic dermatitis, which is greasy.
- Plaque psoriasis affecting nails will create pits, indentations, ridges and discolored areas.
The plaque kind of psoriasis affects approximately 80 percent of
psoriasis suffers while the other 20 percent may experience these types:
- Elephantine psoriasis-- A rare kind of psoriasis known for its extremely thick, scaly lesions covering the back, hips and thighs
psoriasis-- Affecting a few individuals suffering from severe
arthritis, it is characterized by cone-shaped, limpet-like plaques on
arms and legs that last nearly three months. Histopathology showed
evidence of excessive dermal edema, or fluid retention, and moderate
infiltration of inflamed cells.
psoriasis--Lesions that have been itched and rubbed frequently may
develop into extremely thick plaques that are more difficult to remove.
psoriasis--This psoriasis occurs over skin areas suffering previous
injuries, such as cuts, infections, insect bites or surgical wounds.
psoriasis--While the sun or ultraviolet light relieves the suffering of
most psoriasis patients, the light will exacerbate the symptoms of a
few. Frequent sun exposure for these sun sensitive individuals will
increase inflammation of the lesions on the face, hands, neck and upper
How Dermatologists Assess Psoriasis Plaques
Doctors consider the following factors when assessing someone with possible psoriasis:
- Age of the patient when they first noticed the psoriasis as well as current age
- Body areas affected by psoriasis lesions
- Whether psoriasis is generalized or localized
- Severity of plaques using the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index or PASI system
plaques cause functional impairment of the patient determined by
dermatologists using the Dermatology Life Quality Index or DLQI
- Indications of other health problems such as hypertension and obesity
- Medications currently taken by the patient
type classification based on the Fitzpatrick system that describes skin
as "white or pale and burning easily", "darker skin that tans rather
Depending on the severity and type of
psoriasis plaques, treatment usually consists of topical steroids,
prescription medications, phototherapy or a combination of these
remedies. Although psoriasis is not curable, one or more treatments
usually can manage and control the symptoms.
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Psoriasis plaques and other symptoms of psoriasis
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