4 Questions About Genital Psoriasis You May be Afraid to Ask
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I have a hunch that genital psoriasis is often times under diagnosed. Having psoriasis on any part of your body can be really embarrassing, but to have the flaky, itchy, patches on your genitals can cause great distress. Check out these questions and answers about genital psoriasis people are afraid to say out loud. If you are living with genital psoriasis, please talk to your doctor about concerns.

What if people mistake my psoriasis for a sexually transmitted disease?

This seems to be a huge concern for people living with genital psoriasis and can severely affect ones want to be intimate. Many have admitted to me that they avoid sexual contact because they don’t want the other person to misconceive their disease as a STD. The appearance of genital psoriasis can be unsettling. Anything foreign on the genitals can raise a red flag to someone who isn’t familiar with the signs and symptoms of psoriasis and STDs. It’s important to have a talk with your partner and explain to them the mechanics of the disease. It might be beneficial to take them with you to a doctors appointment or to go get tested for STDs together.

Can genital psoriasis affect one’s ability to have sex?

Yes. A study conducted found 50% of participants revealed genital psoriasis impacted their sex life either very much or quite a bit.1 Genital psoriasis can be very painful. Individuals in the study complained of painful patches on the penis which caused the skin in the area to tear and crack, with the friction of sex increasing the pain. Others advised that the pain decreased their desire to engage in intercourse.1

Are there treatments for genital psoriasis?

Yes. But you need to speak with your doctor. Many people have a hard time revealing this issue to the doctor due to embarrassment, but if you are suffering with this problem you need to talk to your physician so you can receive adequate treatment. Many of the topical treatments prescribed for psoriasis are not generally safe to use in areas of your body including the genitals, face, and under arms, these areas require lower dosages. If you are prescribed a biologic, it should also help clear up the areas of your genitals.

Can you have psoriasis only on your genitals without having it on other areas of your body? 

Yes. Just like some people only have psoriasis on their scalp, people may only experience flares on their genital area.

view references
  1. Patients’ perspectives on the impact of moderate-to-severe genital psoriasis. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology , Volume 76 , Issue 6 , AB192 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2017.04.749
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