What are the symptoms of psoriasis?

Updated: Mar 17, 2021
  • Author: Jacquiline Habashy, DO, MSc; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Symptoms of psoriasis may include the following:

  • Worsening of a long-term erythematous scaly area

  • Sudden onset of many small areas of scaly redness

  • Recent streptococcal throat infection, viral infection, immunization, use of antimalarial drug, or trauma

  • Family history of similar skin condition

  • Pain (especially in erythrodermic psoriasis and in some cases of traumatized plaques or in the joints affected by psoriatic arthritis)

  • Pruritus (especially in eruptive, guttate psoriasis)

  • Afebrile (except in pustular or erythrodermic psoriasis in which the patient may have high fever)

  • Dystrophic nails

  • Long-term rash with recent presentation of joint pain

  • Joint pain without any visible skin findings

The skin almost always is affected before the eyes. Ocular findings occur in approximately 10% of patients. The most common ocular symptoms are redness and tearing due to conjunctivitis or blepharitis.

The nonocular symptoms are related to rash and psoriatic arthritis. The rash can be uncomfortable or even painful. Psoriatic arthritis can cause stiffness, pain, throbbing, swelling, or tenderness of the joints. The distal joints, such as the fingers, toes, wrists, knees, and ankles, are most often affected.

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