Psoriasis, also known as psoriasis vulgaris, is an autoimmune skin condition that most commonly causes a signature patchy, scaly skin rash that can appear red, purple, gray, or brown depending on your skin tone.

Psoriasis rashes can appear in many different forms, from the common plaque psoriasis to the much less common pustular psoriasis. Each of these conditions causes a unique form of the psoriasis rash, explored below.

Psoriasis” is an umbrella term for multiple types of psoriasis, each defined by a specific kind of skin rash. Psoriasis rashes can range from small, localized teardrop-shaped lesions to a full-body rash with accompanying body-wide symptoms.

Below, we will describe how each of the different types of psoriasis rashes commonly appear on the body.


Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis, and it accounts for roughly 80 to 90 percent of all psoriasis cases.

Plaque psoriasis causes large skin lesions that consist of dry, itchy skin. These are called plaques.

On lighter skin, plaques may appear red, covered with silvery scales. On skin with more pigment, they may look purple, gray, or darker brown and tend to be thicker.

Plaque psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body, but it’s most commonly found on your elbows, knees, and back. It can also appear on your scalp as scalp psoriasis.


Guttate psoriasis is a less common form of psoriasis that often develops suddenly and clears quickly, within a matter of weeks or months.

Guttate psoriasis causes small teardrop-shaped skin lesions that tend to be pink or red and scaly.

It often appears on your arms, legs, and torso, but can also spread to your face, ears, or scalp. In some cases, guttate psoriasis can develop into plaque psoriasis.


Inverse psoriasis is a slightly more common type of psoriasis that affected roughly 21 to 30 percent of people with psoriasis in a large self-reported 2016 study.

Inverse psoriasis causes large, smooth patches of red skin, found between the folds of your body. Skin friction makes it a lot worse, so it commonly affects areas such as your:

  • armpits
  • breasts
  • buttocks
  • groin

It is also commonly found alongside other types of psoriasis.


Pustular psoriasis is a rare form of psoriasis distinguished by the presence of pustules, or pus-filled sacs.

These pustules appear in a rash-like formation. Over time, they can develop into brown, scaly, scab-like lesions.

Pustular psoriasis commonly affects the palms of your hands, the soles of your feet, and your fingers and toes. In von Zumbusch psoriasis, pustules cover much of the body, and can lead to symptoms like headache, fever, weakness, and more.


Erythrodermic psoriasis is a rare and serious type of psoriasis that covers almost the entirety of the body.

Erythrodermic psoriasis causes a body-wide, sunburn-type rash that often appears suddenly and causes intense itching, burning, and pain.

It can also cause other symptoms, such as:

  • fever
  • muscle weakness
  • rapid pulse

Erythrodermic psoriasis can potentially lead to complications, such as dehydration, heart failure, and more, so it does require immediate medical attention.

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of chronic arthritis that can affect people with psoriasis. In a large 2013 in North America and Europe, roughly 30 percent of people with plaque psoriasis also had psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriatic arthritis rashes can appear as any of the psoriasis rashes mentioned above. However, research from 2010 suggests that psoriasis affecting the nails greatly increases the risk of developing psoriatic arthritis.

Here are some images of the different types of psoriasis rashes.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory autoimmune condition that can cause different types of rashes, symptoms, and even complications.

Plaque psoriasis accounts for the majority of psoriasis cases and produces the typical rash that is often associated with the condition. However, other forms of psoriasis can produce distinguished rashes that appear quite different from the familiar plaques.

If you are concerned that you may have symptoms of psoriasis, schedule an appointment with a medical professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment regimen.