ZocdocAnswersIs psoriasis always accompanied by a scaly rash?

Question

Is psoriasis always accompanied by a scaly rash?

I wonder if I have psoriasis, because I have itchy skin that cracks and aches, and both of my parents have it. But then again, I don't have the 'scaly rash' that's always listed as the number one symptom. Is it possible to have psoriasis without having the scaly rash, or is this something else?

Answer

There are many causes of itchy, cracking skin including psoriasis. The physicians who are best qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. The most common causes of itchy, cracking skin include sensitivity reactions to chemicals, the environment, or dryness. These reactions are often call 'eczema' or 'atopic dermatitis.' The are characterized by pain, itching, and cracking and redness. Identifying and removing the offending agent can be helpful as can guarding against drying out of the skin through moisturizers. Fungal infections of the skin can also cause reddening, itching, and cracking. This is common on the feet but can occur in other places. The treatment includes hygiene and perhaps an antifungal agent as recommended by your doctor. Psoriasis is another cause of itchy skin. Generally, a silvery scale over the rash is present and is typical of psoriasis. Occasionally psoriasis can present just as pockmarking or deformity of the finger or toenails or as a form of arthritis especially involving the fingers and toes. As always, the diagnosis and the management of your specific condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor or with your dermatologist is highly recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.