Plaque psoriasis is a common type of psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin.
It is estimated that around 80% of people with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis, making it the most common form of the condition. Understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatments of plaque psoriasis can help those affected manage the condition better.
Plaque psoriasis is characterized by the development of raised, red, and scaly patches on the skin, known as plaques. These plaques are typically found on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back but can occur anywhere on the body. The plaques can be itchy or painful and may crack and bleed. In severe cases, the plaques can cover large areas of the body and cause joint stiffness and pain, a condition known as psoriatic arthritis.
The exact cause of plaque psoriasis is unknown, but it is believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. An overactive immune system is thought to trigger an inflammatory response that causes the skin cells to grow too quickly, leading to the development of plaques. Specific triggers, such as stress, infections, and medications, can worsen the condition.