Hand & Foot Psoriasis

Psoriasis can affect the hands and feet and can often be mistaken for hand dermatitis. Psoriasis in these areas can be debilatiting for patients as it may impair work and physical contact with people. Hand and foot psoriasis may present as red, scaly areas, or cracks and fissures, occasionally it may present as yellowish to brown pustules. Effective treatments are readily available.

  • Hand and foot psoriasis may vary in severity, from mild to severe
  • Triggers include trauma, smoking, allergies, and skin irritants
  • Even mild cases may impair work and physical contact with significant others
  • Hand and foot phototherapy combined with creams can make a dramatic improvements

This form of psoriasis can be difficult to diagnose, as it may mimic conditions such as hand dermatitis, or even fungal infection. As the name suggests, psoriasis of these areas can present as red, scaly patches, often with fissures and cracks affecting hand or feet, or in some situations, both areas. Occasionally yellow pustules may occur, and over time turn into a brown- black spots.

Psoriasis in these areas may cause significant pain, itchy or maybe ‘burning’ in sensation. Over time painful cracks may develop.

Psoriasis is more than just a skin disease, it can be a chronic disorder of one’s immune system, modified by many other factors including-

  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Irritants and allergens
  • Trauma
  • Diet
  • Infection
  • Medication and tablets

The experts at The Psoriasis Institute can help you identify and treat triggers that may worsen your condition.

The Psoriasis Institute comprises of specialist nurse practitioners, Dermatologists, dieticians and allergy specialist, all working as a team to help solve the mystery of hand and foot rashes.

Treatments for your psoriasis include:

Identifying and avoiding triggers

Our team can help you identify and treat your triggers including allergies, irritants, stress and trauma. Addressing flare factors forms the foundation of psoriasis management.


Limiting the use long-term use of steroid creams is very important. Our experts can assist in finding the right combination of Vitamin D and anti-inflammatory acids for your hands. Newer non-steroidal creams called Calcineurin inhibitors can stop the steroid use cycle.


Vitamin supplementation with Vitamin A can markedly improve psoriasis. We often combine this formulation with creams or light treatment to achieve quick results. Specialist prescribed tablets are available if your condition is stubborn.

Narrowband phototherapy

This treatment is one of the best ways to treat hand and foot psoriasis. Combined with creams, hands and feet often start to improve over a few days. This treatment can reduce the need for steroid creams. Narrowband treatments are bulk billed, and take no longer than 2-3 minutes to perform. More on

Biologic injections

This form of treatment is ideal for patients who do not respond to other forms of psoriasis management. Biologics target specific chemical actions which are involved in psoriasis.

In some cases the cause of hand and foot rashes maybe an allergy. Skin allergy testing may assist in determining the cause of rashes in these areas.

Treating your hand psoriasis is only a small part of management. Protecting your hands from trauma, harsh soaps and infection is an integral part of psoriasis management.

This form of psoriasis can often have the biggest impact on patients as it can cause significant impairment of one’s professional and personal life. Hands act as the first point of contact from person to person.

This form of psoriasis can respond well to a combination of treatments including creams, and narrowband phototherapy. Maintaining a hand care regime is vitally important.  We can assist patients by finding the correct combination of soap substitutes, and moisturizers. Most patients respond within 7-10 days of intensive treatment.

Consultant Dermatologist -  The Psoriasis Institute


  • I like The Institute’s approach of a combination of treatments, and not just the usual creams! Really refreshing approach to psoriasis treatments. Highly recommended to any psoriasis patients out there.
    - Peta H. Sandgate

Psoriasis in these areas maybe confused with fungal infections or dermatitis