Genital Psoriasis

Up to two-thirds of people with psoriasis experience genital psoriasis at some point.

Rarely does psoriasis affect only the genitals.

Did You Know?

People with genital psoriasis typically experience psoriasis in other areas of their body. Treating psoriasis in an area with such sensitive skin requires specialized care. While genital psoriasis may not be often talked about, it is both common and manageable.

Genital psoriasis can affect various regions of the genital area:

  • Crease between the thigh and genital area
  • Vulva, penis or scrotum
  • Crease between the buttocks (including the skin around the anus)
  • Pubis (skin above the genitals)
  • Inner and upper thigh

Inverse psoriasis and plaque psoriasis are two common types of psoriasis that you may experience in the genital area.

Inverse psoriasis usually occurs in body folds such as the underarms, under breasts and in the genital area. Symptoms include red skin that is smooth (not scaly) and may look tight. You may experience discomfort, pain, severe itching and splitting of the skin. Inverse psoriasis may be worsened by sweat and rubbing in the body fold areas.

Plaque psoriasis often occurs on the scalp, knees, elbows and torso, but can also appear on the genitals. For Caucasian skin, plaques can look red, with silvery, white buildup of dead skin cells. For skin of color, the discoloration may be darker and may look purple, gray or dark brown. Some people experience discomfort, pain, itching and cracking of the skin.

Treatments

Although genital psoriasis can be difficult to treat, a wide range of treatment options are available. It is important to work with a dermatologist to come up with a treatment plan that is best for you.

Topicals

Topicals (applied directly on the skin) can work to moisturize, relieve pain and itch, reduce inflammation or slow the high rate of skin cell growth. Since the skin around the genitals is thinner, it can respond quickly to topical treatments. However, you must be careful to follow your provider’s instructions and do not use more than recommended to limit side effects.

Biologics or Oral Treatments

Systemic treatments such as biologics and oral treatments are not typically prescribed for genital psoriasis alone. They can be effective in treating genital psoriasis and may be considered if you also have psoriasis in other places or if you have not responded well to other treatments.

Genital Psoriasis Quick Guide

From treatment options to tips to managing your flares, the Patient Navigation Center has the info you need to know.

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