How To Be Intimate When You Have Genital Psoriasis
If you have genital psoriasis, you can still be intimate. Following this advice can help reduce irritation:
When the skin on or around your genitals is raw, postpone sex.
Before sex, gently cleanse the area. Be sure to use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser. Cleansing will also help prevent psoriasis medication from rubbing onto your partner.
Men: Use a lubricated condom. Whether a man or woman has genital psoriasis, this lessens the risk of irritating the inflamed area.
After sex, gently wash the area. This helps reduce irritation. If you are using medicine, apply it.
Psoriasis is not contagious
If you have sex with someone who has psoriasis, you will not get psoriasis. Psoriasis is not contagious. Its not a sexually transmitted disease.
ReferencesBergstrom, KG, Kimball AB. 100 questions & answers about psoriasis. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett.
Meeuwis KA, de Hullu JA, et al. Genital psoriasis awareness program: Physical and psychological care for patients with genital psoriasis. Acta Derm Venereol. 2015 Feb 95:211-6.
Ryan C, Sadlier M, et al. Genital psoriasis is associated with significant impairment in quality of life and sexual functioning. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015 Jun 72:978-83.
Turner J. Inverse psoriasis. National Psoriasis Foundation webinar, presented September 16, 2015.
All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
The American Academy of Dermatology gratefully acknowledges the support from Amgen and .
Heads Up: Anthralin For Scalp Psoriasis
Anthralin is a prescription topical cream or shampoo for the scalp that slows down the growth of skin cells.
- Anthralin, like coal tar, can be messy, stain fabrics, and has a strong odor.
- Anthralin can also stain the skin or hair with a temporary reddish brown color.
- Treatment may be applied for short periods to help lessen staining and irritation. Follow your healthcare providers instructions for use.
Like coal tar, anthralin may be used in combination with UV light to help with skin symptoms of psoriasis, including dryness, redness, flaking, scaling, and itching.
Treatments For Plaque Psoriasis
There are a variety of plaque psoriasis treatments. Some people use over-the-counter products, while others get one or more treatments prescribed by a doctor or dermatologist. These include:
Topicals work on the skin surface and are often the first treatment when someone is diagnosed. They can come in gels, ointments or creams that are prescribed by your doctor or bought over the counter.
Oral treatments are medicines you take by mouth. They work within the body by suppressing all or part of the immune system.
Biologics target specific parts of the immune system. They attach to proteins involved with inflammation. Biologics work within the body and theyre typically given by injection.
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During A Flare Should I Refrain From Sexual Intercourse
Not necessarily, but a flare may be exacerbated by sex, due to friction causing a Koebner reaction and it may be painful.
Genital psoriasis can cause irritation and discomfort during sexual intercourse, which can affect sexual relations with your partner. Effective medication will help to relieve this problem.
Men may find it difficult to have an erection because their penile skin may be painful, tender, have cracks or bleed. This can lead to tensions within a sexual relationship, so talking to your partner and being in an understanding relationship can help defuse any emotional complications.
Using a condom during intercourse may reduce any discomfort, as the condom will act as a barrier to avoid skin-to-skin and fluid-to-skin contact, which cuts down on irritation. After intercourse, cleansing the area and reapplying the medications or emollients as directed by your doctor will also aid recovery.
What Are Other Types Of Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type. About 80% to 90% of people with psoriasis have plaque psoriasis.
Other, less common types of psoriasis include:
- Inverse psoriasis appears in skin folds. It may look like thin pink plaques without scale.
- Guttate psoriasis may appear after a sore throat caused by a streptococcal infection. It looks like small, red, drop-shaped scaly spots in children and young adults.
- Pustular psoriasis has small, pus-filled bumps on top of the red patches or plaques.
- Sebopsoriasis typically appears on the face and scalp as red bumps and plaques with greasy yellow scale. This type is a cross between psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.
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Salicylic Acid: A Keratolytic
Salicylic acid is available in both over-the-counter and prescription strengths. It’s known as a “keratolytic”, which means it loosens dead skin from the psoriasis plaque to reduce scaling.
Salicylic acid is available in many different OTC formulations, such as lotions, gels, creams, foams, shampoos and others, to treat both skin and scalp psoriasis.
Salicylic acid can be used in combination with other treatments, like corticosteroid creams, anthralin, or coal tar to increase effectiveness.
- It may take up to several days before your symptoms improve.
- Common side effects of salicylic acid may include skin irritation, peeling, rash, or blanching of the skin area.
How To Treat Inverse Psoriasis In Your Creases Crevices And Skin Folds
Sometimes not feeling well seems worse than being sick in bed. When you have a mild cold, you still have to function in your job and home life. When you have the flu, however, you take days off and rest.
Inverse psoriasis is the not feeling well of psoriasis.
Its not so bad that you have to stop living your regular life, but its really uncomfortable. Most of the time, you can hide your skin rash, but you never stop feeling it. You have irritated, itchy, and sometimes infected skin that never seems to let you forget your condition.
Fortunately, theres a way to treat inverse psoriasis.
Once you figure out what triggers this condition for you, youll be able to make changes to soothe your skin and begin an inverse psoriasis treatment to help you keep it under control.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Genital Psoriasis
It can be hard to tell the difference between genital psoriasis and contact dermatitis or some types of infection. Even if you have psoriasis, its not a given that a genital rash is due to psoriasis. Learn more about the various causes of genital rash.
If your skin cracks, youre more susceptible to bacterial or fungal infections. Its possible to have both genital psoriasis and an infection at the same time, which may require a combination of treatments.
The skin around your genitals is delicate. If you develop a rash on or around your genitals, see a doctor for a diagnosis before you try to treat it.
Treating the condition sooner than later will give you a better chance of finding relief.
Complementary And Alternative Treatments
Youll find plenty of these for treating psoriasis. The US Food and Drug Administration doesnt regulate these products. As such, few of these treatments have been studied. Those that have been studied were tested on small numbers of people, so we dont know how well these treatments work. We also dont know whether theyre safe.
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What Type Of Psoriasis Treatment Will I Need
Several treatment options can relieve psoriasis. Creams or ointments may be enough to improve the rash in small areas of skin. If the rash affects larger areas, or you also have joint pain, you may need other treatments. Joint pain may be a sign that you have arthritis.
Your provider will decide on a treatment plan based on:
- Severity of the rash.
- Vitamin A or retinoid creams.
Coping With Genital Psoriasis
Skin diseases can be difficult to cope with and a skin disease that affects the genitals can be doubly so. You may find it embarrassing and stressful to discuss genital psoriasis with a doctor or nurse. Try to remember there is nothing to be embarrassed about.
Overcoming your natural reluctance to discuss these matters, and learning how to be up-front with your doctor and loved ones, can make coping with psoriasis much easier. Honesty and openness are key factors in coming to terms with your situation. If your partner knows how genital psoriasis is affecting you, he or she will be better able to support you emotionally and physically. Equally, your doctor will be in a better position to help you. See Psychological aspects of psoriasis for further guidance.
Remember: your healthcare professional wants to help you, so let them know how you are feeling, and dont forget that professionals are used to dealing with such sensitive areas and issues as part of their daily work. They have seen it all before!
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Anus And Surrounding Area
Psoriasis on or near the anus is red or purple, non-scaly, and likely to itch. Symptoms might be similar to those of yeast infections, hemorrhoidal itching, and pinworm infestations.
Genital psoriasis of the anus can also cause rectal bleeding, pain while passing stools, and dryness. Heavy scaling and red or purple discoloration might develop in the creases of the buttocks, although the skin is less sensitive and difficult to treat.
How To Apply Safely
Topical corticosteroid should be applied in a thin layer and massaged into the affected area one to four times per day as directed. The treatment typically lasts until the psoriatic plaques resolve. In some cases, a stronger topical drug will be used to penetrate thickened plaques and switched to a milder form once the major scaling has been reduced.
Some corticosteroids are used on an intermittent basis whenever signs of a flare develop. These will usually be milder Class VI or VII drugs that can be applied when needed. Always check the expiration date and let your healthcare provider know well in advance if you need a refill.
Never apply a topical corticosteroid to skin other than that directed by your dermatologist. This is especially true with respect to the genitals and face.
Unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise, never apply topical corticosteroids to the eyelids or under the eyes. Topical steroids should never be used internally or applied to cracked, bleeding, or infected skin.
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Best For Intense Itch: Curl Curl Hydratherapy Itch Defense Wet Skin Moisturizer
Thanks to oatmeal extract, vitamin E, and a ceramide complex, this goes to town fast, minimizing itch and generally making skin feel better. The formula is water-activated, so youre meant to slather it on immediately post-shower . Its so great for irritated skin conditions that it has both the National Psoriasis Foundation’s Seal of Recognition and the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance.
Treatment With Topical Corticosteroids
Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and slow the rapid production of skin cells. They are applied to the skin in the form of a cream, solution, ointment or for the treatment of psoriasis on the scalp a foam or shampoo.
There are big differences between corticosteroids in terms of the strength of their effect . In Germany and other countries they are divided up into four groups based on their potency:
- Low-potency corticosteroids
- High-potency corticosteroids
- Ultra-high-potency corticosteroids
Ultra-high-potency corticosteroids are often needed for the treatment of very scaly areas of skin and psoriasis on hair-covered areas of the scalp. Weaker corticosteroids or other drugs are used on sensitive areas of the body, such as the face or in skin folds. The symptoms usually improve within one to two weeks of starting treatment.
Psoriasis flare-ups are often treated with stronger medications such as mometasone. These medications are generally applied to the affected areas of skin once or twice a day for the first three weeks. After that they are gradually applied less frequently for instance, every other day in the fourth week, and every three days in the fifth week. Treatment with topical steroids is stopped gradually because an abrupt stop can make psoriasis come back again.
Studies have shown high-potency corticosteroids to be effective. They found the following after a few weeks:
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Best Ointment: Dermaer Psoriasis Medicated Cream
With a thicker consistency, this ointment is choice for dabbing onto smaller spots, ideal for anyone who suffers from random, smaller areas of plaques and scale. It touts 2% salicylic acid in a steroid- and fragrance-free formula thats also hypoallergenic.
The scalp is a common spot where psoriasis can crop up. Admittedly, it may be less visible here than when its on your arms or legs, but the discomfort can be intense. We know, we know, this isnt a cream, but really who wants to apply a cream on their scalp? Well let this one sneak onto the list, especially because it came highly recommended for scalp psoriasis by both of the derms we spoke to.
It contains coal tar, the other FDA-approved ingredient for psoriasis, which, has been shown to calm inflammation in the skin and slow the growth of skin cells, helping with the itch and scaling associated with psoriasis, notes Birnbaum. FYI, to fully reap the benefits, Miller recommends using it two to three times per week and letting it sit on the scalp for at least a few minutes before rinsing.
Creases Between The Thighs And Groin
Psoriasis appears as non-scaly, red, and white in the creases between the thighs and groin. The skin may also have fissures or cracks.
Those who are overweight or very active might also develop an infection in the folds of the skin that resembles a yeast infection. Both men and women can develop psoriasis symptoms in these creases.
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World Psoriasis Day 29 Octobre 2022
Genital psoriasis requires treatment from a doctor and medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter. This uncomfortable skin irritation often appears on other parts of the body and very rarely isolates itself to the genital area.
This problem occurs in both men and women, each having a different reaction and experience in dealing with psoriasis of the genitals.
What Does Psoriasis Look Like
Psoriasis can occur on any area of the body, including hands, feet, elbows, scalp or genitals.
- In plaque psoriasis, the most common form of psoriasis, the skin tends to be dry, flaky, itchy, red and covered with white scales.
- Psoriasis can affect small areas of the body or be very widespread.
- For many people, psoriasis can lead to embarrassment, self-consciousness, or stress some people may require treatment for depression or anxiety.
- Family doctors, dermatologists, or rheumatologists may treat your psoriasis depending upon site and severity.
- See more pictures of psoriasis.
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Can You Buy Topical Corticosteroids
You can buy some topical corticosteroids over the counter without a prescription. For example, for dermatitis, you can buy the steroid cream called hydrocortisone 1% from your pharmacy. Do not apply this to your face unless your doctor has told you to do so. This is because it may trigger a skin condition affecting the face Long-term use may also damage the skin. On your face this would be more noticeable than the rest of your body. So usually only weak steroids are used on the face. Those which are suitable are prescription-only.
Be careful when using steroid creams that you have bought in a shop. They can make some conditions worse, not better. For example, athletes foot will get worse with steroids as will eczema herpeticum and perioral dermatitis.
You can also buy some steroid nose sprays to treat hay fever for example, beclometasone nasal spray and fluticasone nasal spray.
Your pharmacist will discuss how to use them safely.
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Topical Treatments For Psoriasis:
Some creams and lotions that can ease the dryness and itch are available over the counter with others, youll need a prescription from a doctor. It takes a bit of trial and error to find what topical treatment may work best for you. Here, some guidance to the most common types of creams and lotions for psoriasis.
This is the active ingredient in treatments that can help banish scales by softening them and making the outer layer of skin shed. You can find salicylic acid in many forms . These treatments are designed to work in combo with others, because getting rid of the scales can help other treatments do their work more efficiently. If its a strong version, salicylic acid can irritate the skin and make hair more likely to break off, and that can lead to temporary hair loss, says the NPF.
The NPF advises not to use a topical steroid for longer than three weeks without consulting a doctor, as well as to avoid stopping the use of one suddenly because that can cause a flare-up of your psoriasis. Another reason to use these under the care of a physician: Topical steroids can be absorbed via the skin and have an impact on internal organs when used for a long period of time or over a wide area of skin.
Vitamin D3 treatments
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What If Those Psoriasis Treatments Dont Work
If psoriasis doesnt improve, your healthcare provider may recommend these treatments:
- Light therapy: UV light at specific wavelengths can decrease skin inflammation and help slow skin cell production.
- PUVA: This treatment combines a medication called psoralen with exposure to a special form of UV light.
- Methotrexate: Providers sometimes recommend this medication for severe cases. It may cause liver disease. If you take it, your provider will monitor you with blood tests. You may need periodic liver biopsies to check your liver health.
- Retinoids: These vitamin A-related drugs can cause side effects, including birth defects.
- Cyclosporine: This medicine can help severe psoriasis. But it may cause high blood pressure and kidney damage.
- Immune therapies: Newer immune therapy medications work by blocking the bodys immune system so it cant jumpstart an autoimmune disease such as psoriasis.