Psoriasis of the genital area is not uncommon and may present as smooth red patches, or silvery scaly areas. Psoriasis in this region causes the most amount of psychological impact for patients however simple but effective treatments are readily available.
Psoriasis can affect many parts of the body including the skin, scalp and nails. Any area of the skin can be affected, including skin on the pubic, anal and genital areas. The cause of genial psoriasis is unknown, but a combination of genetic, dietary and environmental factors come into play. Skin irritants and allergens can frequently worsen psoriasis in the genital area.
All areas of the genitals and the surrounding area can be affected by psoriasis.
This includes areas such as-
The buttocks and crease
Psoriasis affects this area more frequently than you may imagine. It can present as red patches with or without scale. In some people it can be very itchy, whilst in others, it is asymptomatic.
Psoriasis of the vulval areas can present as smooth red areas, or scaly patches. If itching develops, then the areas maybe thickened and dry.
Psoriasis of the penis can present as red patches or dry flaky skin. It can also present as smooth red patches at the end of the penis. Psoriasis of the genital area is not contagious.
The area between the belly button and genital areas is known as the pubis, and is a commonly affected area for psoriasis patients. Psoriasis in this areas responds well to a mixture of creams and phototherapy. In some patients dietary changes can make a significant difference.
Anus and surround skin
Psoriasis affecting this area can be difficult to diagnose and may present as red patches. This area is prone to irritation and itch, and maybe confused with haemorrhoids, fungal infections or pin worm infections. Treatments for psoriasis affecting the anal area including removing dietary triggers, irritants and allergens and protecting the surrounding anal skin.
Absolutely no. Psoriasis is not a sexually transmitted disease. Patients who have rashes in the genital areas often mistake psoriasis as a sexually transmitted condition.
The natural history of psoriasis is to wax and wane over time. Most people will have times when their psoriasis worsens, but if trigger factors, such as foods, diet, irritants and stress are managed, then psoriasis can disappear without treatment. Resistant cases will need medical treatment.
General skin care to the area is the first step to improving psoriasis in the genital area. Soaps, irritants and potential allergens should be avoided. A gentle wash should be used and the area cleaned twice a day. Genital psoriasis responds well to treatments and our psoriasis experts will tailor a program to suit you.
Dietary changes - Trigger foods should be avoided, in some cases a psoriasis dietitian can assist in avoiding certain foods, and providing a health weight loss program.
Steroid creams can be used for very short periods. We generally prefer to avoid steroid creams in this area, but they maybe used to control psoriasis in the short term.
Phototherapy may effective for psoriasis involving the upper thighs, pubic areas, and buttocks. We do not generally recommend phototherapy to the genital areas.
Tablets such as Methotrexate, Vitamin A tablets and biologics are reserved for psoriasis that is resistant to creams, phototherapy or extensive areas affecting other parts of the body.
Specialists at The Psoriasis Institute understand the importance of effectively managing psoriasis, especially in this region of the body. Genital psoriasis causes the most amount of distress for patients, and can have a significant psychological impact on one’s self esteem. In most cases we can improve things within a week or two of treatment.
Call The Psoriasis Institute on 07 3871 3437 for an appointment time.
Our Specialist Psoriasis Practitioner can arrange a consultation with out the need for a referral. A $25 Medicare Gap applies for the consultation.
Most treatments are PBS listed items with costs ranging from $20-45 per prescription.
Genital psoriasis can be one of the most distressing and traumatic conditions we have to manage. The condition can have marked impact on one’s self esteem and relationships. General measures such as a soap subsitute and moisturiser can make a difference.
Phototherapy to areas such as the buttocks and lower abdominal area can be successful. Genital areas are best treated with gentle creams, including a mixture of vitamin A and vitamin D creams. Titrating the dose and frequency of creams is essential to ensure that irritation dose not occur.
Nigel Harris - Specialist Psoriasis Nurse Educator
(Specialist nurse practitioner) Nigel is excellent - he lends a sympathetic ear, organises quick scripts and gets me into see the right specialist whenever my skin or joints flare up.