There is nothing that some psoriasis sufferers or anyone would find more embarrassing than dealing with psoriasis on the genitals. Some even allow the embarrassment to prevent them from seeking treatment and talking freely with a doctor. Don’t let embarrassment keep you from seeking psoriasis on genital area treatment. Sure there is no cure for psoriasis currently but there are still many treatment methods that can help to heal the lesions and keep flare-ups to a minimum.
How do you get genital psoriasis?
The luck of the draw is probably the best and also frustrating response about why not only psoriasis but also genital psoriasis develops. It could have genetic factors but you may also be the first one in your family tree to develop this skin condition. It could be environmental or some other factor and so on and so forth. While this may not be a satisfactory response, such is the case with this chronic skin condition that is still not very well understood.
The common areas that psoriasis affects include the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp but it can affect any area of the body including the genitals. While about 1 to 3 percent of the general population deal with psoriasis, only about 3 to 4 percent of these psoriasis patients have genital psoriasis.
Genital psoriasis can affect either gender but it is more common in men than women and it usually affects the head of the penis or the vulva but other areas of the groin can be affected as well.
While flaky skin is commonly associated with other areas of the body that are affected by psoriasis, genital psoriasis is usually evidenced by redness.
While psoriasis can look like a contagious disease to people who don’t have an understanding of this condition, psoriasis including psoriasis on the penis or vagina is not contagious but this still causes embarrassment during sexual intercourse. Genital psoriasis should not affect sexual activity but the areas of the penis or vagina may become redder after sex.
This is a delicate area and the thinner skin in this area can make psoriasis on genital area treatment more difficult but not impossible. But because this area is so delicate and sensitive, it absorbs treatments very rapidly which increases the risk of developing various side effects related to many different psoriasis topical creams and ointments
In general, some of the more potent medications such as steroids that can be used on other less delicate areas of the skin are not recommended for the genital area because further thinning of the skin (atrophy) and stretch marks can develop when used for a prolonged period of time in this sensitive area. This is also why coal tar and anthralin products are not recommended for use in this area because they can lead to irritation.
However, there are other less potent steroids (Class V or below) that are not as effective when used on other areas of the skin which, may work great when used in the genital area.
Also, instead of using steroids, you may also want to consider calcineurin inhibitors or topical immunomodulators (tacrolimius and pimecrolimus) which do not contain any steroids and prevent skin thinning or the development of stretch marks. While these treatments are only moderately effective when used on other areas of the body, they can be very effective in sensitive areas such as the groin.
You can also use various home remedies for genital psoriasis such as witch hazel which can help especially if you are dealing with itching. You can add witch hazel to a bath or even apply it directly to soothe irritated and itching skin.
Besides using witch hazel to stop the itching, you can also use mouthwashes such as Glyco-Thymoline or Lavoris added to a sitz bath. A sitz bath represents sitting in six inches of warm water on a donut cushion or using a towel that has been twisted into a circle big enough to support your bottom). Or you can place a basin of warm water which is about ¾ full in an empty bathtub and then proceed to squat into the basin.
Whichever method you use, add a cup or so of these mouthwashes to the warm water and proceed to soak the genital area for about 10 to 15 minutes, stand up and pat the area dry. No rinsing is required but you may shower if you wish twenty minutes later.
While psoriasis of the penis or vaginal area can be embarrassing, don’t let this keep you from seeking psoriasis on genital area treatment. It should also not keep you from an active sex life but you have to be willing to talk to your sexual partner who should also be encouraged to do their own research to allay their fears on this condition being contagious or being an STD of which it is neither.
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