Psoriasis is an irritating and unsightly—but noncontagious—skin condition, the causes of which are unknown. Although it responds to treatment, it can recur. In weeping psoriasis, pus-filled blisters develop.
Psoriasis is a medical condition characterised by dry, flaking patches of skin. Is is often seen around the joints of the body or on the scalp, but any body area may exhibit symptoms, and in severe cases large areas of skin can be affected.
In weeping (or pustular) psoriasis, sores filled with clear or yellow pus develop. When broken—by scratching, for example—they "weep." The pus is sterile, however, and cannot cause infection.
The mechanism that produces the dry, flaky skin is overproduction of skin cells. The specific cause of this overproduction remains unknown, although some believe the body's immune system is involved. The reason for weeping in some cases of psoriasis is also unknown.
In a few cases, generalised pustular psoriasis—in which weeping sores are seen against a background of very hot, red skin, with fever symptoms—can be a medical emergency. Otherwise, in addition to being unsightly, weeping psoriasis causes itching and soreness.
Treatment depends on the severity of the condition and in mild cases may not even be necessary. Doctors can prescribe steroidal creams and lotions. Steroids may also be injected in the affected area of skin. More extensive outbreaks can respond to ultraviolet light treatment.
- "Psoriasis at your Fingertips"; Tim Mitchell and Rebecca Penzer; 2004