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How Itchy Can Psoriasis Be?

Before I was diagnosed with plaque psoriasis, something tingled where the patches were. That tingle would get worse as the patches grew larger and became more widespread.

I now know that tingle to be a rather annoying itch. The more psoriasis spreads over my body, whether it’s in my scalp, on my arms or in my belly button, the more I am tempted to itch that lesion.

Managing the itch

What do I mean when I talk about an itch in relation to my psoriasis? It can almost feel like this incessant need to scratch a lesion, to sooth it, to make it go away and feel relief.

Over the years, I have been on countless medications and treatments, from over-the-counter pharmacy stuff to phototherapy to what I am on now, a biologic injection.

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Most of the treatments I’ve been on did wonders for the itch. When I applied the ointment or stood in the light therapy booth, I would feel instant relief from my itch; it was like it was being soothed and completely taken away.

But alas, the itch would return when these treatments either stopped working or had run their course. I used to love phototherapy myself because not only would it take my patches away, it really did stop the itching while I was on it.

Avoiding scratching

Now, I am on a biologic injection. It has helped to remove most of my patches, but not all of them. And the itch I have described remains on those lesions still present. But is it as burdensome? No, it’s most definitely not.

One of the most frustrating parts of living with psoriasis can be the itch. We all know the patches are unsightly, they’re irritating, but the itch can be what you remember most and what practically destroys daily living.

It’s not just the need to itch which can disrupt your day, but the consequences of itching a lesion. I have tried countless times to resist scratching, but sometimes I do without even knowing. And in my scalp, that can lead to bald patches or areas where the hair is much thinner. That can lead to feelings of embarrassment or in more severe cases, social anxiety and mental health problems.

In addition, my patches sometimes bleed or the patch itself can stain your clothes. I have had to throw out clothes newly bought because of this, so it’s incredibly annoying. There’s the patch, the redness, and then there’s the itch; you scratch, you may bleed or stain your clothes, and then you feel regretful about what you’ve just done.

Speak with your medical team

If you’re struggling with the itch in relation to your psoriasis, it’s best to speak to your medical team. They will likely have many patients on their books with the same complaints as this condition is very testing when it comes to our resistant to itch. But if it’s ruining your life, there are treatments and medications which can really help.

Being on a biologic has almost been a game-changer for me. Yes, while I do still itch, it has taken it away from being a persistent burden to an intermittent one. And for that, I am truly thankful.

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.

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