Psoriasis of the Skin Folds

This form of psoriasis may present as shiny red patches under the breast area, armpits and groin. Friction and trauma can worsen this form of psoriasis. Keeping the affected areas clean and dry, and treating any infection forms the basis of treatment.

  • This is a common form of psoriasis, often mistaken for a fungal infection
  • Flexural psoriasis often affects the skin folds of the groin and arms
  • Dietary changes maybe effective in this form of psoriasis
  • Creams and phototherapy are first line treatments


Psoriasis is a genetic condition made worse with stress, skin irritation, skin infection and friction. This form of psoriasis can often be associated with yeast and bacterial infection, and affected areas should always be swabbed. The red, shiny affected areas are often intensified by sweating and friction- skin folds rubbing together.

Inverse or flexural psoriasis frequently presents are red shiny patches in the skin folds. This form of psoriasis may affect the skin folds and genital areas, common sites include -

  • Armpits
  • Under the breasts
  • The groin area including genitals
  • Between buttocks
  • The lower abdominal areas, in between skin folds

Other areas maybe involved, including the elbows, scalp and knees. In these areas, psoriasis maybe more scaly and the skin thickened.

Keeping the affected areas clean and reducing skin irritation can help. Our specialists will recommend non-soap washes, and will often take a swab of the area to make sure there is no secondary infection. We also recommend swapping your deodourant for a non-scented one.

Many treatment options are available for inverse psoriasis including:


Vitamin D creams can reduce the need for corticosteroid creams and lotions. Our clinicians are weary of long term steroid use, and will ensure that Vitamin based creams are used at some stage of treatment. Vitamin A and D can be extremely affective as psoriasis treatments on other parts of the body, however in inverse psoriasis their concentrations will have to be diluted.

New generation creams called calcinurin inhibitors maybe formulated to treat inverse psoriasis.

Narrowband light treatment

This treatment can be very effective in the treatment of inverse psoriasis, especially if combined with creams.


Some patients may benefit from a psoriasis diet, especially if trigger factors are found. Our dieticians at The Psoriasis Institute can discuss possible trigger foods, and formulate a custom diet if needed.


This form of treatment is reserved for resistant cases of inverse psoriasis. Tablets such as Vitamin A maybe prescribed by our Consultant Dermatologists. Other tablets include methotrexate, cyclosporine and hydroxyurea.

Psoriasis of the skin folds, or inverse psoriasis can be markedly improved with diet. In some cases trigger foods can be avoided, whilst in others, weight loss will reduce the amount of psoriasis without the need for creams or tablets.  This especially applies in more severely overweight individuals.

Patients are advised to see a Psoriasis Dietitian, as they can assess any food allergies and triggers, and can help will formulation of a Psoriasis Free diet.

The Psoriasis Institute is Australia’s leading centre of excellence for the treatment of psoriasis. Our team consists of Specialist Nurse Practitioners, Psoriasis educators, Dermatologists, Rheumatologists, Cardiologists and Dietitians. We work with the patient to address all aspects of psoriasis including trigger foods, allergies and irritants, but most importantly treat your psoriasis with the most advanced medical methods possible.

Call the Institute on 07 3871 34 37  to arrange an appointment time. A referral from your GP is not required.


A Medicare gap treatment of $25 applies for the first consultation with our Psoriasis Practitioner. Treatments such as phototherapy are bulk-billed. The majority of cream treatments cost between $25-$35. Tablets such as Vitamin A are Specialist prescribed, and on the PBS.

Inverse psoriasis can be a challenging form of psoriasis to treat. The affected areas should always be swabbed, and if secondary infection is found, treated with antifungals and/or dilute Condy’s soaks. Replacing soaps and potential irritants forms the cornerstone of management. In many patients, dietary factors play a role, and in individuals with a high body mass index, dietitian review is recommended. Vitamin A and D creams can reduce the severity of inverse psoriasis however will need to be titrated, as skin irritation can develop. Phototherapy can be a very effective method of treating inverse psoriasis.

Dr Scott Webber -  Consultant Dermatologist


  • The Psoriasis Institute is a great idea- finally a one-stop center to help the many patients with this condition. My psoriasis is much easier to manage now. Thank you…
    - Grant S. Logan