How to Know Whether It Is Psoriasis

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According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, nearly 8 million people suffer from psoriasis in the United States, which makes the condition the most prevalent autoimmune disorder in the country. However, regardless of how common it is, many are still unclear as to what psoriasis is and have difficulty detecting the disease.

In a nutshell, psoriasis increases the rate at which skin cells grow in your system, which then exhibits itself as flaky, dry, and itchy patches (or plaques) on the skin. Two conditions that resemble psoriasis the most are dermatitis and eczema.

In order to be able to tell psoriasis apart from other similar conditions, the first step is to become familiar with the types of psoriasis:

Plaque psoriasis: Up to 90% of all psoriasis cases are plaque psoriasis.

Plaque psoriasis causes raised, red, scaly patches or plaque with sharp edges on the skin. Even though plaque psoriasis may occur in any area of the body, knees, elbows, and the lower back are the most common parts of the body that get affected.

Guttate psoriasis: Unlike plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis causes salmon-pink spots on the skin that resemble drops.

Inverse psoriasis: Inverse psoriasis is similar to plaque psoriasis minus the scales. Also, with inverse psoriasis, the most commonly affected areas are where skin folds, like the armpits, groin, genitals, and under the breasts.

Pustular psoriasis: This type causes bumps as well, but they are filled with pus as the name suggests. Stress, infections, and some medications may trigger pustular psoriasis flare-ups.

Erythrodermic psoriasis: This type of psoriasis is a rare and severe form of plaque psoriasis. The lesions are often large and look like burns.

What Looks Like Psoriasis?

Although there are skin diseases that resemble psoriasis, psoriasis causes lesions that differ in shape, color, and thickness.


Eczema is more common than psoriasis and affects a more limited area in comparison to psoriasis – specifically, often the elbows and knees. Certain foods and allergies can trigger eczema, and eczema lesions are also susceptible to getting infected, unlike psoriasis lesions.


Seborrheic dermatitis is a condition that looks a lot like plaque psoriasis and can even develop at the same time as psoriasis. However, seborrhea lesions need oil, so they mostly only occur on the face, scalp, and chest, and they also lack the thickness and definition of psoriasis lesions. When seborrhea on the scalp is known as dandruff, which only produces greasy, fine flakes.

It is vital to consult a medical professional as soon as possible when you think you might be experiencing psoriasis symptoms so they can reach a diagnosis by ruling out all other skin conditions.

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