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Adult with psoriasis curled up looking at their knees worriedly. Above them there is a plaque shaped thought bubble with surgery tools, Gender queer, non-binary, NB

The Koebner Phenomenon and My Psoriasis

Having had psoriasis for 18 years now, I have seen my psoriasis spread and with the right medication, I have seen it disappear. However, in all those years, I have never been completely clear of plaque psoriasis.

When I first showed signs of psoriasis, it appeared on a small area on my left leg. Honestly, I thought it was poison ivy. It did not take long for that area to spread and spread and spread until 80% of my body was covered in plaques.

Avoiding a new flare...

Of course, I have a deeply rooted fear that this will happen again one day. You see, during all the years that I have had psoriasis, all I ever needed was some kind of damage to my skin to start a new plaque area.

Due to two recent knee scopes, you see, I currently have incision sites on my knees. I'm worried these new skin upsets will cause a new psoriasis outbreak.

I'm talking about the Koebner phenomenon.

So, what is the Koebner phenomenon?

Let me explain what I mean a bit more. I have always been an outdoor type of person. What is the problem with being an outdoor person? Where I live there are mosquitoes - one bite from the little pest is enough to get a new psoriasis plaque started. Do you see where I am going with this after my recent surgeries?

25 to 30% of people with psoriasis will experience this.1 So, what is the Koebner phenomenon? To put it in easy-to-understand terms, it is when an unaffected area of skin starts to have a psoriasis patch appear due to some kind of injury.

Taking a look at my own experience

Do the mosquito bites make more sense now? The Koebner phenomenon has happened to me a lot in many different scenarios. Even scratching an area that doesn't have a plaque can cause a new plaque to occur. Now with seven incision places since April of this year, I worry that new patches will develop.

So far the three done in April have completely healed and show no signs of psoriasis. However, the other 4 incisions were just done in the middle of August. The stitches only came out last week. That right knee still has a long way to go before it is healed. I still have active plaque psoriasis patches on my ankles and toes.

Will it happen this time?

In conclusion, I guess I can say that the Koebner phenomenon is just another thing about psoriasis that drives me insane. The active areas are bad enough. Let's not even get started on the itching. There are so many factors when it comes to dealing with and living with psoriasis.

What is one more thing? Well, that thing can be a big thing if it means an outbreak of more plaques, more itching, and additional risks of infection. Will it happen this time? I guess only time will tell.

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