Pustular Psoriasis

What is Pustular Psoriasis?

It starts with skin that feels hot and sensitive. After a few hours, small pustules begin to form.  If untreated, the pustules begin to join together to create conjoined   pools and blisters. Then, as time progresses, the pustules can burst, heal over, or disappear, only for the process to begin anew.

Pustular psoriasis is one of the rarest, yet most severe forms of psoriasis.  It only affects about 2-3% of the world’s population, but those who are affected live with uncomfortable, sometimes painful blisters and inflamed skin. This type of psoriasis typically affects the palms of an individuals’ hands, soles of their feet, and their fingers or toes.

If you or a loved one has been affected by pustular psoriasis, treatments are available.  While any form of psoriasis is incurable, treatments have been shown to be an effective way for those with psoriasis to feel some relief.  Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of psoriasis, and before starting any new treatment.

Pustular Psoriasis Causes

All forms of psoriasis are caused by a sort-of defect in the body’s immune system.  It starts to attack healthy cells as well, rather than just infections.  It’s not known why the body sometimes attacks itself, but there are many illnesses, called autoimmune disorders, that are caused by deficiencies in the body’s immune system.  Examples of other autoimmune disorders include lupus and arthritis, two common ailments that affect millions of people worldwide.

Psoriasis occurs when the immune system mistakenly identifies healthy skin cells as infections, and begins attacking them.  Sometimes, this reaction can be so severe that it affects not only skin, but joints as well.

The autoimmune reaction that causes psoriasis is unknown, however, there are some directly observable triggers that can cause a psoriasis flare-up.

It’s been shown that having a pre-existing infection can trigger a psoriasis attack.  Your body’s immune system kicks into action when it detects an infection, and begins the process of fighting it off.  It assigns T-cells and white blood cells to the region of infection, which then act to destroy the infection and keep you healthy.  Sometimes, however, the immune system doesn’t stop at the infection.  It continues on to fight healthy cells.  When the immune system begins to attack healthy skin cells, psoriasis can form.

Psoriasis has a number of other triggers that can set off an episode.  For example, cuts and scrapes can send your body mixed messages, which then set off an autoimmune chain-reaction.  Certain foods, particularly those that give allergic reactions, can also trigger psoriasis.

It’s been shown that smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can also increase one’s overall risk of psoriasis. Regardless of the cause, pustular psoriasis is painful, irritating, and can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, if it flares up on a visible part of the skin.

Pustular Psoriasis Symptoms

While other, milder forms of psoriasis are considered more of a nuisance than a true threat, pustular psoriasis is quite serious and may require medical attention. Because this form of psoriasis results in pus, blisters and inflamed skin, it has the potential to be not only extremely uncomfortable, but dangerous as well because it increases the skin’s exposure to infection. Of course, if you have concerns about any psoriasis symptoms, you should consult your doctor.

There are three types of pustular psoriasis depending on where it resides on the body. The three types are as follows:

  • Palmoplantar pustulosis (PPP): This type of psoriasis usually forms on the palms of your hand or soles of your feet. These small blisters are pus-filled and can become brown, peel off, and/or crust over. It’s important to note that individuals who smoke have a higher chance of developing this type of pustular psoriasis.
  • Acropustulosis: This type of psoriasis will form on an individual’s fingertips or toes. The person will form small lesions that can become very painful, making it difficult to use their fingers or toes.
  • Generalized or Von Zumbusch: This type of psoriasis looks like generalized forms over a wide area of an individuals’ body. Skin blotches that appear red can be very painful and tender. After or during the break out, pus-filled blisters pop up over the infected area. The individual may experience itchy skin, fatigue, joint pain, dehydration, nausea, and weight loss. This type of pustular psoriasis is very rare but can have serious implications on an individual’s life. If you think you might have this condition, please consult a doctor.

These forms of psoriasis can flare up in a matter of hours. The severity of an attack can vary from episode to episode, and can change on a dime. Additionally, pustular psoriasis can develop into what’s called erythroderma (under the generalized or von zumbusch type), which consists of painful blisters and inflammation all over the body, rather than in small, localized patches.  If you have the symptoms of erythroderma, please contact your doctor.

This type of psoriasis can also lead to follow-up symptoms such as headaches, fever, and diarrhea.  If left untreated, these symptoms can become dangerous.

The bottom line is that, while pustular psoriasis is typically not fatal, it can cause extreme discomfort and take a toll on an individual’s quality of life.  Stay cautious and ask lots of questions.  Talk to your doctor and follow up with treatments and consultations regularly.

Pustular Psoriasis Treatment Options

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for any kind of psoriasis.  However, there are lots of options for treatment of the symptoms of psoriasis, including Pustular psoriasis.

While this type of psoriasis is treatable, it can be a bit stubborn compared to other forms of psoriasis.  There are two reasons for this:  First, many creams and ointments are simply not strong enough to combat the heightened severity of pustular psoriasis symptoms.  Second, because this psoriasis can be more painful than other forms, it can be difficult to apply, and continue to regularly apply, creams and ointments.

Summers Laboratories offers a wide range of non-steroidal psoriasis treatments, available for purchase at reasonable prices.  Summers Labs carries various creams, ointments, shampoos and gels to help treat and soothe psoriasis symptoms.

For pustular psoriasis, we recommend Keralyt 5 Cream.  This cream is thick and stays put. It is easy-to-use and affordable. Simply apply it wherever you have psoriasis symptoms. If you have scalp psoriasis or pustular psoriasis on or near your scalp, we recommend Keralyt 5 gel or shampoo. Each of these treatments work on-contact and help soothe your itching, burning, red, or inflamed skin.