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Sexual Health Issues and Psoriasis

People with psoriasis seem to have an increased risk of sexual dysfunction, according to a recent systematic review. The review examined data from 28 previous studies, which included a total of 52,520 cases of psoriasis and over 1.8 million healthy controls. Compared to healthy controls, people with psoriasis had a 5.5-fold higher risk of sexual dysfunction.1,2

What is sexual dysfunction?

Sexual dysfunction is a general term that encompasses any problem that occurs that prevents an individual or couple from experiencing satisfaction from sexual activity. There are four categories of sexual dysfunction:3

  • Desire disorders, which is a lack of desire or interest in sex
  • Arousal disorders, which is an inability to become physically aroused or excited
  • Orgasm disorders, which refers to a delay or inability to orgasm or climax
  • Pain disorders, which includes any pain that occurs during intercourse

Research suggests that sexual dysfunction is common, occurring in about 43% of all women and 31% of all men. Sexual dysfunction is more common with increasing age and is often related to a decline in health. Some medications can also cause sexual dysfunction issues as a side effect.3

Symptoms of sexual dysfunction

In men, sexual dysfunction may occur as an inability to achieve or maintain an erection (called erectile dysfunction, or ED), delayed or no ejaculation, or premature ejaculation. In women, sexual dysfunction may occur as an inability to achieve orgasm, a lack of vaginal lubrication, or an inability to relax the muscles in the vagina to allow intercourse. Both men and women may also experience sexual dysfunction as a lack of interest in sex, an inability to become aroused, or pain during intercourse.3

Psoriasis and sexual dysfunction

The recent systematic review found that having psoriasis seemed to increase a person’s risk of developing sexual dysfunction. In addition, those with additional conditions were at an even higher risk for sexual dysfunction. The findings of the review indicated that anxiety, depression, psoriatic arthritis, and genital psoriasis were linked to the strongest evidence of association with sexual dysfunction. Increasing age was also linked to sexual dysfunction – getting older is also associated with sexual dysfunction in those without psoriasis.1,2

The data also showed that treating psoriasis improved sexual dysfunction, although this improvement was only seen in women with psoriasis.1

What people with psoriasis should know

While this recent report showed that people with psoriasis may be at an increased risk of sexual dysfunction, it does not mean everyone with psoriasis will have sexual dysfunction. However, if you are having any issues, you should talk to your doctor about it. There are treatments that can help with sexual dysfunction, including medications, mechanical aids, and sex therapy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Lyles A. Psoriasis tied to increased risk of sexual health issues. MedPage Today. Available at Accessed 11/15/18.
  2. Molina-Leyva A, Salvador-Rodriguez L, Martinez-Lopez A, Ruiz-Carrascosa JC, Arias-Santiago S. Association Between Psoriasis and Sexual and Erectile Dysfunction in Epidemiologic StudiesA Systematic Review. JAMA Dermatol. Published online October 10, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.3442. Abstract.
  3. Sexual dysfunction. Cleveland Clinic. Available at Accessed 11/15/18.


  • Andy
    7 months ago

    One of my college classmates is Chinese. His father is an expert in the treatment of psoriasis in China. He helped me treat psoriasis. In the first month, the skin on the hands began to molt. In the second month, the injured skin completely fell off, leaving erythema. He said that because these skins were covered by bacteria for a long time, they did not see the sun. After a month of sun bathing, I completely recovered. I have not relapsed now. It has been 8 years. I found out that when I packed my bags a few days ago, I found the medicine I used. Think about it. I hope this news is useful to you.

  • sinceiwasfive
    8 months ago

    WOW! I hope more GPs become knowledgeable. This would have saved me a lot of heartache and changed my life.

  • PallaveeTrehan
    7 months ago

    Thanks for sharing. How are you doing today? -Pallavee ( team member)

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