What Treatments May Or May Not Be Used In Genital Psoriasis
Psoriasis in the genital region is very difficult to control. While it is easy to relieve the symptoms of itch and discomfort, treating the lesions effectively is more challenging. When treating genital psoriasis it is important to keep the affected areas moisturised. When using moisturisers, any irritation that occurs may be due to your sensitivity to some of the ingredients.
Below is a summary of topical treatments, some of which may be recommended for your particular circumstances. Others are unsuitable for use in the genital area. If you develop genital psoriasis, you should discuss it with your doctor, who will be able to advise you on suitable treatments.
Emollients are an important part of the daily care of psoriasis on all parts of the body, including the genitalia. They help to make the skin more comfortable. There is also a range of topical treatments available – creams and ointments – that your doctor can prescribe. See Emollients and Psoriasis.
Topical vitamin D creams and ointments are effective in treating psoriasis and the newer types are less likely to cause irritation. However, some do have the potential to irritate sensitive areas such as the genitalia. Some doctors recommend cautious use of vitamin D analogue creams and ointments on genital skin.
Treatment should never be stopped abruptly as this may trigger a rebound flare of your psoriasis.
Can You Have Sex With Genital Psoriasis
If were talking about whether its physically safe to have sex with genital psoriasis, the answer is yes. You can have sex, even when you have an active flare-up of your symptoms. But the bigger question is, will you want to? Raw, inflamed skin can lead to a lot of discomfort, making sex pretty painful. Other people might feel self-conscious in the middle of a genital psoriasis flare-up. In fact, people with penises and psoriasis experience higher rates of erectile dysfunction, and people with vaginas and psoriasis tend to experience a , according to a 2018 study published in the journal Psoriasis.9
Another factor to consider is that people with psoriasis on their genitals often experience whats called the Koebner phenomenon.10 Thats when too much pressure or friction causes more psoriasis to develop, Dr. Garshick says.
With that in mind, if you do choose to have sex during a genital psoriasis flare-up, Dr. Garshick recommends using lubrication or lubricated condoms to minimize friction. In addition, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends gently cleansing the area before and after sexual activity to reduce irritation.
What Could It Be
Genital psoriasis can look like a lot of other things. Some arenât that common, but itâs important for your doctor to rule them out.
Seborrheic dermatitis : You usually get this itchy red rash on your scalp or face, but it can show up in other places, too, including your groin, pubic area, and genitals. In sensitive areas, SD is bright red with almost no scale. Some people have both SD and psoriasis. Read about the symptoms and causes of seborrheic dermatitis.
Yeast infection: Itâs normal to blame itching and burning in the genital area on yeast infections, because so many women have them. But you get them inside your vagina, while psoriasis is on the vulva just outside it. You can usually treat yeast infections with over-the-counter meds. But if you have psoriasis, these can make your symptoms worse. Learn about the common signs of a yeast infection.
Tinea cruris : This is a type of yeast infection that happens mostly in men. It causes itchy red spots, mainly around the creases in your upper thighs. You usually donât have it on your penis. Find out more on jock itch symptoms and treatment.
Contact dermatitis: This itchy rash starts when you come in contact with something youâre allergic to. Hundreds of things can be to blame, including:
Get more information about contact dermatitis symptoms and triggers.
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Causes Of Lichen Sclerosus
The cause of lichen sclerosus is unknown.
It might be caused by your immune system, the body’s defence against infection, mistakenly attacking and damaging your skin.
Lichen sclerosus is not:
- contagious you cannot spread it to other people
- caused by poor personal hygiene
Page last reviewed: 08 October 2021 Next review due: 08 October 2024
What Vaginal Psoriasis Looks Like
Vaginal psoriasis usually appears on the outer skin of the vagina as smooth, red lesions without the scaly plaques normally associated with plaque psoriasis. You may hear the term inverse in describing the appearance of vaginal psoriasis. Inverse psoriasis lesions can also appear in other areas of the genitals:
Pubis, the area above the vagina
Vulva, the entrance to the vagina
The crease between the groin and thighs
The anus and skin around it
Psoriasis in the genital area may cause itching. Avoid scratching because it can lead to increased dryness, more itchiness, and infection.
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Is My Itchy Skin An Std Or Genital Psoriasis
18 August 2021
If you suddenly develop dry, scaly patches of skin around your genital area that are red, angry, and intensely itchy, your first thought might be Do I have an STD? However, Genital Psoriasis is a condition that can occur on the upper thighs and buttocks that has similar symptoms to various common STDs.
In this article, we aim to outline the conditions that can commonly be mistaken for Genital Psoriasis, to help you determine the cause of your itchy skin.
How Is Genital Psoriasis Diagnosed
In clinical practice, an experienced dermatologist can usually spot psoriasis right away. Genital psoriasis, however, can be a little bit trickier to diagnose. Since genital psoriasis often lacks a scaly appearance, it can sometimes be overlooked or misdiagnosed as a different skin condition, like jock itch, ringworm, and even some sexually transmitted infections , Dr. Radusky explains.
As we mentioned earlier, a skin biopsy may be taken to rule out other conditions. This biopsy is a quick, in-office procedure that will give you insight into whether or not you have psoriasis. If you already have psoriasis in other areas of your body, the diagnosis of genital psoriasis might be easier to determine.
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Tips For Managing Genital Psoriasis Symptoms
The location of genital psoriasis can intensify symptoms. One of the characteristics of psoriasis is the tendency for it to get worse with any kind of skin trauma, Ellis says. In the groin area, that trauma can be caused by too-tight clothing, skin rubbing on skin, athletic activity, and sex. All of these may make symptoms worse, Ellis says.
Wearing loose clothing can help. Keeping skin hydrated is also an important part of management, says Ellis.
Here are some tips for caring for skin when you have genital psoriasis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology:
- Use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser. Avoid potentially irritating deodorant or antibacterial soaps and body washes.
- Apply fragrance-free moisturizer to the psoriasis after bathing, when skin is still damp. Also apply when the area feels dry to reduce rubbing and irritation. A good rule of thumb for products: the fewer ingredients on the label, the better.
- Use quality toilet paper.
- Avoid contact between genital psoriasis and urine or feces.
- Get plenty of fiber in your diet. A high-fiber diet or a fiber supplement will ease bowel movements.
- Avoid long, hot baths.
- Apply cool compresses to dry and itchy areas.
The bottom line: Let your dermatologist know about any symptoms, Ellis emphasizes. We have amazing treatments.
When To Contact A Doctor
Lots of different conditions and factors can cause dry, flaky skin in the pubic area, and treatment will depend on the cause. Some conditions may worsen over time, and a person may risk giving conditions such as STIs to other people too.
A person should always contact a doctor if they notice dry, flaky skin in their pubic area that does not get better. This is particularly true if the symptoms are interfering with everyday life.
A person who feels embarrassed should remember that lots of these causes are common in females.
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Regions That Might Be Affected By Female Genital Psoriasis
This is the area above your genitals. Psoriasis in this part can be treated the same way as scalp psoriasis. However, caution should be undertaken since the skin is more sensitive than the skin on your scalp.
Psoriasis in this region usually consists of multiple small, dark red and scaly round patches of rushes. This psoriasis can easily be irritated, especially when the thighs rub against each other.
Psoriasis on or near the anus usually looks red, non-scaly and inclined to itchiness. Most of the time, it is confused with infections, ringworm infestation, haemorrhoids itching or yeast.Buttocks crease genital psoriasis may appear between the creases in your buttocks. This psoriasis is synonymous with thick scales or red and non-scaly plaques.
Folds between the thigh and the groin
This form of psoriasis looks reddish-white and non-scaly. The skin may also have cracks.
Genital Psoriasis Penis Scrotum
- Location: Genital areas, upper thighs, skinfold, buttocks crease
- Treatment: Topical creams or UV light therapy
Genital psoriasis is psoriasis that develops around the genitals. The condition is not contagious and usually inherited. It can be triggered by yeast infections, and those with a genetic predisposition are more susceptible to psoriasis. Psoriasis usually manifests around age 20.
Usually, if you have genital psoriasis, you also have the more typical psoriasis on knees and elbows, for some it may be the only type you have.
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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.
Are There Any Washing Products That Help Reduce Inflammation The Itching
We must focus on everything that is not irritating: surgras soap, syndet, shower oil but it is primarily the topical corticosteroids that will reduce inflammation.
Roge Cavailles Extra-Mild Superfatted Soap 250g
Babies, children and older people use Roge Cavailles Extra Mild Superfatted soap. It enriches with almond oil to clean the skin carefully and softly. It has superfatted ingredients which leave a protective film on the skin. Use it daily to wash face and body for sensitive skin.
- It is used by older people, children and babies
- It enriches with almond oil
- It is ideal for daily cleaning of sensitive skin
- After the shower, after wiping, heat the folds with a hair dryer. The increase in temperature very gradually improves epidermal differentiation and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It is a treatment to follow indefinitely.
Similarly, there, as elsewhere, non-aggressive washing is useful for women, thanks to Saforelle products. But it is only the specific treatment that will control the itching.
Local corticosteroid therapy, in the form of lotion, by choosing a non-alcoholic lotion such as the Betneval lotion.
This treatment should be done every night for one month just before heating with a hair dryer, then the application can be spaced out gradually while maintaining a very prolonged weekly application. It is very effective against itching.
Women usually tolerate this treatment very well, which has no side effects.
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Treatments For Genital Psoriasis In Adults
A total of 21 articles examined treatment outcomes for adults with genital psoriasis , including 1 randomized controlled trial , 8 open-label studies , and 16 case reports , representing a total of 332 patients. Of these, topical corticosteroids were used in the regimen of 201 patients for successful treatment . Low-potency topical steroids were used in 132 patients, moderate-potency steroids were used in 120 patients, and high-potency steroids were used in 15 patients. Antifungal medications were used as part of successful treatment in 3 patients, while coal tar preparations were effective in clearing genital lesions in 126 patients. Topical tacrolimus 0.1% ointment resulted in significant improvement in genital lesions in 38 patients across 4 open-label studies and 2 case reports . Tacrolimus was fairly well tolerated by most patients, with side effects of mild pruritus and/or burning sensation of limited duration. However, use precipitated extreme irritation in one case report, requiring discontinuation of therapy . Other agents used for successful treatment of genital psoriasis include topical cyclosporine, which was well tolerated in three patients .
How Is Psoriasis Treated
Psoriasis is usually treated by a dermatologist . A rheumatologist may also help with treatment. Treatments can include:
- ultraviolet light from the sun or from home or office treatments. But in some people, sunlight can make psoriasis worse.
- creams, lotions, ointments, and shampoos such as moisturizers, corticosteroids, vitamin D creams, and shampoos made with salicylic acid or coal tar
- medicines taken by mouth or injected medicines
A doctor might try one therapy for a while and then switch to another. Or a doctor may combine different therapies. Its all about finding one that works for each person.
Sometimes what works for a while might stop working. This is one reason why its important to work closely with a doctor. Trying out new treatments can get a little frustrating, but most people eventually find one that works.
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What Are Genital Psoriasis Symptoms
Genital psoriasis symptoms can vary from person to person. If you have psoriasis on other areas of your body, you may notice more discomfort if it affects your genitals. Here are some symptoms you might experience with this very sensitive type of psoriasis:
- Discolored patches in the folds of your skin between your genitals and inner thigh.
- Raised, inflamed patches of skin on the surface of your penis, vulva, scrotum, or buttocks.
- Itching or burning at the site of discolored skin.
- Skin patches that are peeling off.
- A feeling of slight pressure down there.
Cancer And Lichen Sclerosus
Lichen sclerosus increases your risk of getting cancer on your vulva, penis or anus.
The risk is low, but it’s a good idea to check yourself regularly and see a GP if you’re worried.
Symptoms to look for include a lump, a change in skin texture, such as thickening, or an ulcer that does not go away.
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Stds That Can Be Mistaken For Genital Psoriasis:
Genital Herpes is the most common STD to be mistaken for Genital Psoriasis as they share many of the same symptoms. Symptoms of Genital Herpes include pain or itching, small red bumps, and scaly scabs which can appear on the buttocks and upper thighs, as with Genital Psoriasis. However, Genital Psoriasis shouldnt cause pain internally or anywhere other than the patch of skin affected.
Genital Warts may cause small, painless growths and lumps that are often flesh-coloured around the vagaina, penis, anus, or upper thighs. These lumps may be confused for the patches of skin caused by Psoriasis as they can be itchy and uncomfortable.
Trichomoniasis can cause itchiness, redness, and soreness to the genital region, like Genital Psoriasis, however will also often cause difficulty urinating and a change to the vaginal discharge in women, which is not associated with Genital Psoriasis.
Is Erectile Dysfunction A Symptom Of Psoriasis
Erectile dysfunction occurs more often in people with psoriasis than in the general population. This is due to several factorssome are physical, and others are emotional. If you experience erectile dysfunction, its important to let your doctor know, as it can be a sign of cardiovascular problems.
Females can experience sexual dysfunction as well. While there is no conclusive study indicating the cause of dysfunction in females, it has been noted that psoriasis causes changes to a womans desire, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction.
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Questions For Your Doctor
Once you have “the talk” with your doctor, you’re likely to want answers.
- Why did I get this? Did I do something to cause it?
- Can my romantic partner catch it?
- Will sex make it worse?
- Can I even have sex?
- Will it go away on its own?
- Is there a cure?
- Are there treatments? How well do they work? What are the side effects?
- If I start treatment now, how long until it gets better?
- What can I do to stop this itching?!
Vulvar Pruritus And Burning Sensation In Women With Psoriasis
Aleksandra Zamirska, Adam Reich, Joanna Berny-Moreno, Joanna Salomon and Jacek C. Szepietowski
Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland
Approximately 80% of psoriatic individuals experience pruritus, of varying intensity. This study evaluated the frequency of vulvar itching and burning and its influence on well-being in women with psoriasis. A total of 93 women were included in the study. Psoriasis severity was assessed according to the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index, the intensity of vulvar discomfort by visual analogue scale and depressive symptoms by Becks Depression Inventory. On admission 41 women experienced vulvar discomfort, 18 itching, 10 burning and 13 both itching and burning sensations. Psoriatic lesions on the vulva were found in 22 women. No significant correlation was found between burning or itching intensity and global psoriasis severity . Patients with vulvar discomfort had psoriatic lesions on the vulva more often than women without discomfort . In addition, patients with vulvar discomfort more frequently demonstrated depressive symptoms . We conclude that vulvar discomfort is an important clinical problem in women with psoriasis and should be taken into consideration during treatment. Key words: vulvar discomfort psoriasis pruritus pain vulvovaginal disorders.
Acta Derm Venereol 2008 88: 132135.
Patients and methods
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