Plaque psoriasis is by far the most common form of psoriasis. Doctors refer to it as “erythemato-squamous”, meaning “red and scaly”. The areas of diseased skin take the form of round or oval plaques, which are red, raised with a flatish top and clearly outlined and covered by numerous superficial dry scales.
The scale is a silvery colour and normally covers the entire red patch, from which it flakes off in abundance.
Plaques can vary in size and number and scratching of the scale leads to fine droplets of blood appearing. Their colour may vary in intensity, and they are often more red towards the edge of a plaque than at the centre. The plaques can be thin or thick. They are often found symmetrically on the outer arms and legs, especially on both elbows and/or both knees, but any part of the body can be affected.
The condition can appear on various parts of the body and lesions vary depending on the body part affected. It is mostly found on the elbows, knees, back and scalp. However, it can also appear on other parts of the body, such as the face, hands, feet, nails, skin folds and mucous membranes.
Plaque psoriasis is accompanied by itchy skin in 60% to 70% of cases. It does not cause itchiness all the time, but this can be a major problem for some people.