Vulvar Psoriasis

Vulvar psoriasis, also known as genital psoriasis, is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease marked by red, itchy, scaly patches. Psoriasis is a common condition of the skin. Psoriasis changes the life cycle of your skin cells, causing them to build up rapidly on the surface of your skin. The extra skin cells become thick, silvery scales and itchy and red dry patches. These patches can be painful. The most common type of psoriasis found in the genital region is called inverse psoriasis. 

Men can also be affected by genital psoriasis. Psoriasis on the penis appears as many little red patches on the shaft. The skin affected by psoriasis may be scaly, or smooth and shiny. Both circumcised and uncircumcised men can be affected by genital psoriasis.

Symptoms

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Vaginal dryness, and smooth, dry, red lesion that is not usually scaly appearing on the vulva. Scratching in this area causes an infection, creates dryness, and will result in a thickening of your skin and more itching. It usually affects the outer skin of your vagina, because vulvar psoriasis does not have an effect on your mucous membranes. Vulvar psoriasis does not often affect your urethra. When psoriasis appears on or near your anus it will be red, non-scaly, and prone to itchiness. Getting psoriasis in this area is complicated because the symptoms are often confused with yeast infections, hemorrhoidal itching, and pinworm infestations. If you are affected by any of these conditions, it adds further complications to your treatment. Rectal exams and skin cultures can confirm whether you have these conditions. Anal psoriasis symptoms include bleeding, excessive dryness and itching, and pain during bowel movements.

When vulvar psoriasis spreads to your buttocks crease it will be red and non-scaly or red with very heavy scales. This skin is not as fragile as the skin of your groin. When vulvar psoriasis spreads to the creases between the thigh and groin, it will look non-scaly and reddish white. This skin is very delicate and may develop fissures and cracks. If you are overweight or athletic, you may come down with an infection called intertrigo. Intertrigo looks similar to a yeast infection, except it occurs in the folds of your skin. The region above your genitals, also known as your pubic mound. This area can be treated with similar treatments for scalp psoriasis; however, be careful. The skin of your pubic region is much more sensitive than your scalp. Many small and round patches that are red and scaly are symptomatic of psoriasis when it occurs in your thigh area. When the dry patches occur between your thighs, they can be very easily irritated, especially while walking.

Treatment

Vulvar and genital psoriasis is notoriously challenging and frustrating to treat, and even though it responds well to treatment, you will have to make special considerations because your genitals and the skin surrounding them are so sensitive. Different people will have different response times to treatments. If you feel like your treatment is not working, go and visit your doctor to discuss other treatment options. 

You should only use low-strength corticosteroid substances in your genital area because your skin there is so sensitive and thin. Use these ointments carefully and as directed by your physician. If you use corticosteroids for too long, they can permanently think your skin and cause stretch marks to form. Use an over-the-counter moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. Be careful when choosing a lotion; some creams contain perfumes and irritants. These can hurt your genital area’s sensitive skin. Make sure you read the labels to find a moisturizer that will soften your skin as much as is needed. Choose one that is unscented and free from additives.  UV light can be used to treat some types of vulvar psoriasis, but only in special circumstances. The doses of the UV light concentration need to be much lower than the doses normally used to treat psoriasis. Overexposing the skin of your genital area to ultraviolet light can cause it to burn.

Your doctor will not generally prescribe systemic medications for genital psoriasis. However, if your vulvar psoriasis is very severe or resistant to topical therapies, or if it appears on other parts of your body, you may be prescribed medication.

Vulvar Psoriasis md top10mdDiagnosis & Intimacy

Almost one-third of people affected by psoriasis say their disease has an affect on their love life. If your psoriasis is giving you anxiety, making sex and dating a little more complicated, or interfering with your love life and relationships in general, realize that it doesn’t have to. If you are reluctant to start a relationship or are having sexual anxiety in your current relationship as a result of psoriasis, it is important to remember that you need to learn to love yourself. Becoming comfortable in your skin and accepting that you have a chronic illness requiring long-term management can help you with your struggles with intimacy.

 

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