Pustular Psoriasis Overview
Pustular psoriasis is an uncommon form of psoriasis. Pustular psoriasis appears as clearly defined, raised bumps that are filled with a white, thick fluid composed of white blood cells, also known as pus. The skin under and around these bumps is red. Although pus is often a sign of infection, there is no evidence that infection plays any role in pustular psoriasis.
Pustular psoriasis. Note the clearly defined, raised bumps on the skin that are filled with pus (pustules). The skin under and around these bumps is red.
The skin changes you may notice before, during, or after an episode of pustular psoriasis may be similar to those of regular psoriasis. People with the usual skin symptoms of psoriasis have patches of raised skin with scales.
Pustular psoriasis is classified into one of several types, depending on your symptoms. Your symptoms may be sudden and severe (acute), long term (chronic), or somewhere in between (subacute). The generalized type (so called von Zumbusch type) affects your whole body with more than just skin symptoms producing a generalized feeling of systemic illness often with fever. A ring-shaped (annular, or circinate) type has also been described. It is usually subacute or chronic, and people with this type do not usually have symptoms aside from the skin symptoms. Pustules may be localized to the palms and soles (palmoplantar pustulosis) or to the fingertips and nails (acrodermatitis continua of Hallopeau). The least common type is the juvenile, or infantile type, which occurs in children.
Pustular psoriasis is not common. Far more common forms of psoriasis are plaque psoriasis and guttate psoriasis, which account for over 90% of psoriasis. Pustular psoriasis affects all races. In adults, it affects men and women equally. In children, it affects boys somewhat more often than girls. The average age of people with pustular psoriasis is 50 years. Children 2-10 years of age can be affected, but this is rare.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/8/2014
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