What Does Psoriasis On The Feet Look And Feel Like
In many cases, psoriasis on the feet presents like psoriasis does elsewhere on the body. The most common type is plaque psoriasis . Psoriasis on the feet may appear with:
- Clearly defined red, purple, or brown patches or lesions on the skin, often covered with thick, silvery scales
- Patches of thick, dry skin that may crack or bleed easily and that may cover the entire sole
- Soreness, burning, or itching, either on a red patch of skin or over much of the foot
- Small patches of skin that are scaly but not necessarily red
- Signs of inflammation, such as heat and redness
- Small pustules on the bottom of the feet
Pain and discomfort from psoriasis on the feet may be worse than pain from psoriasis elsewhere on the body because of the pressure caused by walking. Feet are highly sensitive, which can make basic movements uncomfortable if they are affected by psoriasis. When your feet hurt, even getting out of bed or wearing socks can be painful. Many MyPsoriasisTeam members with psoriasis on their feet report that their feet feel like they are on fire. One member even said, My feet feel like Im walking on knives. Another member shared, My feet are inflamed, red, and painful.
Occasionally, different types of psoriasis will appear on the feet.
Symptoms Of Psoriatic Arthritis In Feet
Psoriatic arthritis often strikes areas where ligaments and tendons connect to bone. With 26 bones and 30 joints in each foot, thats a lot of possible targets for arthritis.
The disease can cause symptoms in one foot or both feet. In fact, foot symptoms are often among the early signs of psoriatic arthritis. Its important for your physician to consider treatments that allow you to continue the activities you enjoy.
Foot-related symptoms include:
These Home Psoriasis Treatment Tips Can Help:
- Stop smoking. Smoking is a psoriasis trigger, and is bad for your overall health, too.
- Limit alcohol intake alcohol seems to aggravate psoriasis.
- Wear comfortable shoes, and gloves when needed, that are made from natural fibers.
- Avoid injury as much as possible. You could try protecting your feet with padded soles and thick cotton socks, advises Tung.
- About twice a day, soak your hands or feet in warm water, pat them dry, and then cover them with a moisturizer, like petroleum jelly or colloidal oatmeal, to lock in moisture. Ask your dermatologist to recommend a moisturizer for you, says Tung.
- Cracking of the skin can be helped by using a cyanoacrylate adhesive to reduce splitting and speed healing.
- After moisturizing, cover your feet or hands with a waterproof dressing for a few hours or overnight.
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Symptoms Of Foot Psoriasis
The symptoms of psoriasis on the feet can differ from person to person. The most common symptoms of plaque psoriasis are:
- raised, red, inflamed patches of skin
- silvery scales on the red patches
- dry, bleeding cracked skin
- pain around the red patches
- itching or burning around the patches
- thick, pitted nails
- painful, swollen joints
Psoriasis can occur anywhere on the feet, including the soles of your feet.
What Causes Palmoplantar Psoriasis
The tendency to psoriasis is inherited, but what causes it to localise on the palms and soles is unknown. It may be triggered by an injury to the skin, an infection, or another skin condition such as hand dermatitis. It may first occur during a period of psychosocial stress. Certain medications, particularly lithium, may be associated with the onset of flares of psoriasis.
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How To Keep Your Feet Healthy With Psoriatic Arthritis
Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic condition that can get worse over time. A small percentage of people with PsA develop arthritis mutilans, which is a severe and painful form of the disease that can lead to deformity and disability. Though theres no cure for psoriatic arthritis, you can take steps to manage symptoms, control inflammation, and protect your joints. To help keep your feet healthy:
1. Stick to your PsA treatment plan. Your rheumatologist may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs to help slow the progression of psoriatic arthritis, or biologics, which are complex, targeted DMARDs that act on certain immune system pathways, to manage psoriatic arthritis symptoms and help prevent disease progression.
2. Lose weight if you need to. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the amount of stress on the joints in your feet, which can help relieve pain and improve your walking gait. Excess body weight can also increase inflammation, and potentially make arthritis symptoms worse. Check out these weight loss tips that are especially helpful when you have arthritis.
Stretching exercises, especially ones that are focused on the source of your foot pain, such as the plantar fascia or Achilles tendon, can help relieve pain. Talk to your doctor or podiatrist about exercises that are safe for you.
Confidence In Social Situations
There is no denying that palmoplantar psoriasis can have an emotional impact, particularly in work or social situations. With hand psoriasis, you may feel self-conscious or embarrassed, say, when shaking hands or when around people who aren’t able to hide their uncertainty about your very visible condition. The same can be said if you have psoriasis on your feet, which may prompt you to avoid footwear like sandals and open-toe shoes.
What steps you take, if any, to hide your palmoplantar psoriasis is up to you. If you feel stress in social situations because of your lesions, it may help to remember that showing confidence and not drawing attention to your skin usually means others with follow suit. For example, try to look people directly in the eye rather than staring at your hands. If you feel comfortable doing so, you might also choose to educate others about your condition. While you may focus on it, most people may not even notice your condition if your skin is properly moisturized.
Remember: You have psoriasis, but it doesn’t define you.
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What Can I Do To Help My Feet
The most important action is to seek advice and help when you notice any changes in your foot, whatever they may be. You can talk to your GP or local pharmacist for advice. Some problems can be resolved simply. For issues that are more persistent you may be referred to a specialist, such as a dermatologist, rheumatologist, physiotherapist, surgeon or chiropodist/podiatrist.
For general foot care, personal hygiene is important, particularly in avoiding fungal and viral infections. Change shoes and socks regularly, avoid shoes which are ill-fitting or cause bad posture. If you are overweight, losing weight could relieve the pressure on your joints and improve your walking gait.
If you are diagnosed with psoriasis, develop a treatment regime that works for you often, applying treatment after a bath or shower, along with the use of an emollient, can make the process easier.
If you have nail involvement, keep nails trimmed and clean. If they are thick, try trimming them after soaking them in a bath or shower, as this makes them softer and easier to cut. Alternatively, seek an appointment with a chiropodist, which is often available via the NHS.
If you have psoriatic arthritis, it is important to rest inflamed joints. Sourcing footwear that supports the foot and helps to reduce the pressure on the inflamed areas can help, as can inner soles and orthotic supports. Once again, a chiropodist is best placed to advise you.
This article is adapted from The psoriatic foot leaflet.
When Psoriasis Affects The Feet
Psoriasis is a condition caused by an overactive immune system that triggers abnormal skin cell growth.
Normally, skin cells grow and shed in a monthly cycle. With psoriasis, the skin cells grow and build up on the surface of the skin, forming plaques and scales.
Foot psoriasis or palmoplantar psoriasis, which means psoriasis of the hands and feet is a less common type of psoriasis. It causes painful, itchy, red, dry patches of skin on the bottom or soles of your feet. A more rare form of the condition, called pustulosis, involves small, pus-filled blisters in the same area. In both cases, the psoriasis can crack and bleed, which can make everyday tasks like standing or walking difficult.
Forty percent of people who have psoriasis experience palmoplantar psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation . In a study published in the August 2020 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, people with palmoplantar psoriasis were six times as likely to have mood disorders likely due to problems with mobility than those with psoriasis affecting other parts of the body.
In some cases, people with foot psoriasis cant even walk, says Abby S. Van Vorhees, MD, chair of dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School and emeritus chair of the NPF Medical Board. But the good news is that there are treatments available and theres a lot that can be done to make patients feel better.
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Know The Underlying Causes
Eczema and psoriasis have different causes. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, which occurs when your immune system becomes dysfunctional and your skin cells start to grow too fast. The cells that pile up on the top of the skin then lead to the formation of a white scale.
Both genetic and environmental factors may cause eczema. It may be due to the mutation of the gene responsible for creating a protective layer on the top of the skin. Thus, the mutated gene leaves the skin prone to infection and flare. Dry climate can also play a role in triggering eczema.
Medical Options That May Help Include:
- Topical Steroids These are usually used for up to a month at a time. Steroids need to be strong to work on thick palms and soles, so they will need to be prescribed by your dermatologist.
- Topical Ointments Ointments derived from vitamin A and vitamin D can be used to slow down skin cell growth. These are not the same as the vitamins you take by mouth, Tung says. They are strong medications that need to be monitored by your dermatologist.
- Ultraviolet Light Treatment Light therapy slows down skin cell production in psoriasis and knocks out the immune cells causing the inflammation and is the next step in difficult-to-treat cases. Your doctor can prescribe these light treatments two to three times per week, Tung says. In some cases, ultraviolet light can be combined with a topical medication that increases the effect. Oral medication may also be used with light therapy.
- Oral Medication These included Vitamin A derivatives and Otezla . Otezla works on the inflammation without suppressing the immune system throughout the body, says Tung.
- Biologics. These drugs that block the immune system may be suggested if other treatments arent working. These medications are given by injection and are most likely to be needed for patients with more extensive or resistant psoriasis, says Tung. Since hand and foot psoriasis can be disabling, the more aggressive treatment may be warranted even though limited in extent.
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Can Psoriasis Move To My Hands
Yes, psoriasis can make an appearance on any part of your skin, including your hands and fingers. It can manifest as cracking, swelling, or blistering.
However, psoriasis is not spread by touch. And its not contagious. It can, however, be genetically linked. Having a family member with the disease may
Palmar and plantar psoriasis affect only the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. If youre experiencing psoriasis symptoms on your palms, you may have this form of psoriasis.
Between 12 and 16 percent of those living with psoriasis have this type.
This can be accompanied by pus-filled bumps on your hands. Treatment for this includes aggressive use of topical corticosteroids.
Psoriasis can also appear on fingers, knuckles, nails, and on the tops of your feet. Peeling and dryness can make using your hands for daily tasks painful and uncomfortable.
Symptoms in nails occur in about 50 percent of those with psoriasis. Symptoms in nails can include:
How To Treat Psoriasis On The Feet And Legs
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that causes red, scaly patches on the skin of your feet and legs. It can often be painful and itchy. Stress or injury can cause the condition to flare and worsen. While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are numerous treatments that can help alleviate symptoms and control outbreaks.
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Articles On Types Of Psoriasis
Knowing which kind of psoriasis you have helps you and your doctor make a treatment plan. Most people have only one type at a time. Sometimes, after your symptoms go away, a new form of psoriasis will crop up in response to a trigger.
In general, most types of psoriasis result from the same triggers:
Here’s how you can spot the 7 types of psoriasis and what you can do to treat them.
When Psoriatic Disease Strikes The Hands And Feet
We take many common movements and activities for granted â until they become difficult or impossible to do. Get a grip on whatâs happening.
Our hands and feet are ultra-sensitive. Sensory neurons, which trigger pain sensations in the brain, cluster at the fingertips. The complex anatomical structure of hands and feet â with many joints, tendons and ligaments packed tightly together â gives us an acute sense of touch and lets us do precision movements. Our hands, particularly when used for communication through gesture, draw attention.Our feet are so important for our balance and mobility.
Thatâs why psoriatic disease, when it strikes the hands and feet, has an outsize effect. The symptoms can be more intense and more upsetting. Fingernail psoriasis, for instance, is often immediately noticeable and can make something as basic as a handshake feel uncomfortable. Pain and other symptoms of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in the hands and feet can make other routine tasks hard to accomplish.
Gary Bixby, who lost all his fingernails and toenails to severe psoriasis , says psoriatic nail disease makes it painful to chop fuel for his wood-burning stove, a frustrating problem during winters at his home in Blair, Wisconsin.
âIt was affecting more fingernails, then my toenails and large areas on my arms, legs and trunk,â says Bixby. âThatâs when I went to a podiatrist, who thought I had psoriasis, and then to a dermatologist, who confirmed it.”
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Treatment For Psoriasis On The Feet
As yet, there is no cure for psoriasis, but there is a range of treatments that can help relieve symptoms and reduce flare-ups. The choice of treatment will often depend on the type, location, and severity of a persons psoriasis.
The three primary treatments are topical medications, light therapy, and systemic drugs.
Topical medications come in the form of creams, ointments, and oils that people apply directly to their skin. Examples include:
- emollients, which are non-cosmetic moisturizers
- calcineurin inhibitors
- coal tar
A person can buy some topical treatments, such as emollients, mild steroids creams, and coal tar foams, over the counter. A doctor can prescribe stronger topical formulations.
Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, usually takes place in hospitals or clinics and involves doctors exposing a person to ultraviolet light. For light therapy to be effective, people may require 2 or 3 sessions a week.
Systemic treatments work throughout the body and include oral and injected drugs. Doctors typically only prescribe these medications for severe psoriasis due to the risk of serious side effect and the need for close monitoring.
Examples of systemic treatments include:
- immunosuppressants, such as methotrexate or cyclosporine
- phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors
A doctor may recommend coal tar, light therapy, or systemic drugs for people with psoriasis on the feet that they find difficult to treat in other ways.
Foot Problems Are Common In Psoriatic Arthritis Heres What You Can Do About It
Psoriasis you can usually spot: the autoimmune disease often causes red patches of skin topped with thick, silvery scales. It occurs when your bodys immune system goes into overdrive, attacking healthy tissue and causing an overproduction of skin cells. But what you cant see is that same abnormal immune response may also cause inflammation in your joints.
About one-third of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis a chronic, inflammatory disease of the joints and entheses, or places where tendons and ligaments connect to bone.
Most people with psoriatic arthritis develop psoriasis first, and are later diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. But joint problems from psoriatic arthritis can sometimes begin before skin signs appear. Or sometimes skin issues are so mild that patients dont connect psoriasis with joint pain and realize they could have PsA.
Psoriatic arthritis can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in any joint in your body, from your hands to your back and often, in your feet. You can read here about common psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
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When Should I Seek Formal Medical Psoriasis Treatment
Whether its your first time experiencing psoriasis or you have been living with flare-ups for a while, it is always appropriate to see a doctor. Choosing to see an experienced podiatrist as early as possible can reduce your symptoms and spare you much discomfort. Some health conditions paired with psoriasis can also cause more serious complications, which can be avoided by consulting with a qualified professional.
At Instride Carolina Podiatry Group, we have the answers you are looking for. You can trust our staff to be knowledgeable and to place you on the appropriate path toward healing and reclaiming your life. Contact us today for an appointment.