What Is Linear Psoriasis?
Last updated: April 2020
Plaque psoriasis is not the only type of psoriasis one can have. Indeed, there are many types including guttate psoriasis, sebopsoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and one particular type called linear psoriasis.
Have you heard of linear psoriasis? Chances are you probably haven’t.
Defining linear psoriasis
Linear psoriasis is psoriasis that occurs in lines along parts of the body. It’s a rare form of psoriasis and usually occurs with something dermatologists call Blaschko’s lines.
Blaschko’s lines are invisible patterns in the body that can appear when the psoriatic disease affects them. These lines appear in the same way all the other forms of psoriasis. The effect of an overreactive immune system that the skin sheds quicker than usual. It does, however, usually appear later in life.
Linear psoriasis is a rare condition
But because it’s a rare disease, it’s not known how many people suffer from the condition. Blaschko’s lines and linear psoriasis often goes undiagnosed and can be confused with ILVEN (inflammatory linear verrucous epidermal nevus), which is different.
Linear psoriasis is something to keep in mind and to highlight to your healthcare professionals if you’ve been seeing your psoriasis appear in lines.
Talking with your doctor about linear psoriasis
It should also be brought to your healthcare team's attention if your condition is proving particularly burdensome and having a high impact on daily life. Psoriasis is known for having a big impact on the quality of life, and that can be the case for linear psoriasis, particularly if its severe and goes untreated.
Patients can feel self-conscious, develop mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, and refrain from attending social activities or outings.
They may worry about stares or people looking at them, may worry about the condition getting worse, or worry about what the long-term impact of dealing with such a disease.
Treatment options for linear psoriasis
Currently, treatment guidelines are thin on the ground because linear psoriasis is considered a rare disease. That means patients can suffer until an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan is formulated.
Nonetheless, there are plenty of treatment options available. Typically, over-the-counter treatments will be tried first. That includes lotions and moisturizers, coal-tar based products, and salicylic acid, followed by corticosteroids.
If those things don’t work, UVB light therapy in a hospital setting may be tried. Biologic treatments may then be tried if the UVB therapy fails.
Case studies of linear psoriasis
In one case of a 25-year-old woman presenting with linear psoriasis, the disease cleared within 4 months of trying a biologic treatment. In a separate case involving a 69-year-old man, the use of calcipotriol-betamethasone ointment for six weeks almost cleared the disease but it flared up again shortly after stopping.
Some psoriasis treatments can cause what’s known as a ‘rebound’ effect. This is where the condition’s symptoms disappear when treatment is ongoing, but the moment that treatment is stopped, the condition comes back. It usually comes back a lot worse than before.
Do I have linear psoriasis?
Linear psoriasis is generally thought to respond well to treatment. If you suspect you may have linear psoriasis, the best thing to do is book an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist. They will be best placed to make such a diagnosis and offer recommended treatments.
Linear psoriasis is a rare form of psoriasis but that doesn’t mean it can’t be treated. See what your doctor has to say about it and what treatments can be recommended.
There are plenty out there to choose from, and as the individuals aforementioned have experienced, it can get better.
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?