How does plaque psoriasis affect the body?

Plaque psoriasis can certainly affect fingernails and/or toenails. When it does, it could be a sign of psoriatic arthritis. Some symptoms of plaque psoriasis of the nails may include:

  • Nails pulling away from the nail bed like an airplane about to take off
  • Yellow-orange colored nails (not from nail polish)
  • Deformities of the nail itself, like ridges or pitting

These symptoms overlap with some common nail infections, so understandably plaque psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis of the nails is sometimes confused with a nail infection. However, you will be able to tell the difference when antibiotics don’t relieve the symptoms.

Unfortunately, plaque psoriasis can also occur on or around the genitals. Typically, the areas affected the most include creases near the anus, buttocks, thigh and groin, since they are particularly sensitive. Treatment can be very effective, though, so don’t hesitate to tell your doctor about your symptoms, no matter how embarrassed you may feel. (We bet you he’s seen much worse!) Not having to deal with the pain, itching and scaly skin is worth it.

Plaque psoriasis affects the body in a number of ways and it varies from person to person. The patches on the body can vary widely in number. For some, this disease is only a nuisance. For others, it can lead to pain, disfigurement and even disability. This disease also may cyclically flare and subside. A person can go into remission for days, months or years. Most of the time, however, the disease eventually returns.

Dr. Mark W. Moronell, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Plaque psoriasis causes patches of raised, reddish skin covered by silvery-white scales. Patches frequently form on the elbows, knees and lower back, but can occur anywhere on the skin.

Individuals with psoriasis are at an increased risk for developing other chronic and serious health conditions, including heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease and diabetes.

People with more severe cases of psoriasis have an increased incidence of psoriatic arthritis, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, depression, obesity and other immune-related conditions such as Crohn's disease.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.