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Forlorn looking female with icons of cotton, shirt tag, germ, and cruiser bicycle floating above her head

Unintended Consequences of Psoriasis

It’s interesting how I was ready for the obvious symptoms of psoriasis: the red, itchy, scaly plaques; the burning; and the cracking and bleeding skin. But it takes me by surprise when I seem to get a whole new list of symptoms that are almost unintended consequences of psoriasis. They aren’t exactly disease-related, but they do tend to cascade down from psoriasis. Here are a few on that list:

Unable to wear certain clothing

If it has a tag, it doesn’t make it from the clothes store rack to my closet. Even if I don’t have psoriasis on my chest, back or hips, a clothing tag makes my dry skin crawl. The itching is so intense! Yes, the type of clothing makes a difference – cotton is best for me – but, oh, those tags! Brutal.

I do make exceptions to buying clothes with tags if they are really on sale. I mean, it would be criminal to pass up a good deal, right? I do make sure, though, that my mom can remove the tag and sew up the seam because I am not handy with the sewing machine at all. Thank goodness my mom still puts up with me!


Ever since starting biologics nearly 10 years ago, I tend to get at a few nose infections each year. Especially in the winter, but they can pop up any time of year if I don’t keep a handle on it. These infections tend to be worse just after starting a new biologic medication.

And other infections? It turns out, I carry a lot of bacteria in my beautiful armpits. (I added beautiful because armpits aren’t exactly what I enjoy talking about.) In fact, a few times a year, I get a nasty staph infection, complete with a huge boil and pus that my dermatologist has the pleasure of draining. Sometimes it hurts so bad that I scream and scare the other patients in the waiting room. Talk about embarrassing for everyone involved!

I continue taking biologics with a watchful eye and my doctor monitors the number of infections I get each year. The alternative – psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis out of control – is not an option for me. My quality of life improved significantly with biologics, and I don’t care to go back to the days before these treatments.

Giving up two wheels

It doesn’t matter how little I ride my bike. It could be five minutes or I could go riding for miles and miles. Unfortunately, after each ride, I spend days slathering on coconut oil in the unmentionable areas. A simple bike ride always brings on a flare of genital psoriasis. Padded seats? I still flare. It doesn’t matter.

Every so often, I go on a test ride to see if maybe – just maybe – the flare stays away. No luck, and that’s a bummer for me. Luckily, my flares only last a few days, though they are intense.

So, instead of getting some exercise that doesn’t aggravate my psoriatic arthritis, my bike hangs from the ceiling in the garage collecting dust because it aggravates my psoriasis. No bike, no flare.

Do you have any unintended consequences of psoriasis? Share them and our community might be able to offer some tips to help.

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.