Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that affects your skin. Most people with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis, but there are several other types of psoriasis as well.

Your symptoms will differ depending on the type of psoriasis you have.

Plaque psoriasis causes patches of thick skin, called plaques, to form on parts of your body. The plaques might be covered with a thin white coating of dead skin cells, called a scale.

Plaques often appear red in color on white or light skin. On darker skin, plaques often appear purple, gray, or dark brown.

Plaques can be small or cover very large areas. Sometimes, small plaques join together to form larger patches on your skin.

Patches can appear anywhere on the skin but are most common on your:

  • scalp
  • stomach
  • chest
  • knees
  • elbows

Often, plaques will affect the same areas on each side of the body. For example, plaques might form on both of your knees or both of your elbows.

Plaque patches can be very itchy and painful. However, scratching plaque can make the buildup thicker and symptoms worse.

Treatment can help better control your symptoms and provide long-term relief.

Nail psoriasis occurs in up to 78 percent of people who have psoriasis. This type of psoriasis can happen in fingernails or toenails.

It can cause the following symptoms:

  • white, yellow, or brown discoloration of the nails
  • crumbling or rough nails
  • tiny dents in the nails
  • nails that lift up and detach

Psoriatic arthritis causes pain in your joints. It often first develops in a finger or toe.

Other signs include heel pain, swelling in your leg, and stiffness that is worse in the morning.

Guttate is a temporary type of psoriasis that often clears up on its own in a few weeks, although it’s possible to have it chronically.

It causes scaly, tiny, flesh-colored bumps that cover your chest, legs, and arms. The bumps can also sometimes spread to your legs, face, scalp, and ears.

This type of psoriasis is often seen in children and young adults who’ve recently had strep throat or another infection, according to 2019 research.

This type of psoriasis is also called intertriginous or flexural psoriasis. It causes smooth red patches of skin that might appear raw. It develops in places where the skin creases, such as:

  • armpits
  • buttocks
  • genitals

Skin affected by inverse psoriasis often feels painful and sore.

Pustular psoriasis causes small pus-filled bumps that look infected. The bumps generally only appear on your hands and feet and can be very painful.

Seek emergency medical help if pustular psoriasis comes on suddenly and covers your entire body. This is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment.

Erythrodermic psoriasis is a life threatening type of psoriasis that causes your skin to look burnt. You will generally also:

  • have chills
  • have a fever
  • feel generally ill

Erythrodermic psoriasis requires immediate medical care.

The primary symptom of plaque psoriasis is thick patches of skin, called plaques. These patches can cause itching and pain. Patches often develop in the same places on both sides of your body.

Other types of psoriasis include conditions that can occur alongside plaque psoriasis, such as nail psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

They also include potentially serious and life threatening types of psoriasis, such as pustular and erythrodermic psoriasis.