Community Views: Worst Areas for Psoriasis
Last updated: March 2023
Psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body, even on the eyelids, ears, lips, skin folds, hands, feet, and nails. Plaques can be a few small patches or can affect large areas. It's possible to have psoriasis plaques and scales in more than one location on the body at a time.
Where on your body does psoriasis bother you the most?
Nobody wants plaque psoriasis anywhere on their body, but those who live with it find that having it in certain areas of the body is far worse than having it in others.
To learn more about how the community is affected by this diagnosis, we reached out on the Plaque Psoriasis Facebook page. We asked, “Where on your body does psoriasis bother you the most?” More than 200 people answered. Here is what they shared.
The number one answer to the prompt was joints. Having patches of plaque psoriasis on the knees, elbows, wrists, and ankles is tough. Every movement becomes an uncomfortable reminder of the diagnosis. Some people mentioned that psoriasis on the joints makes their physical work so challenging that they wish they had a different career.
- “Wrists and ankles.”
- “Elbows hurt the worst.”
- “My knees are the worst. I am a mechanic, and I am on my feet, climbing, or kneeling all the time. Sometimes it can be unbearable if it gets out of control. My right elbow is a close second. I think I chose the wrong line of work.”
The scalp is a particularly challenging area to deal with because it is hard to treat. Unless you are bald, your hair largely prevents shampoos, lotions, and creams from fully covering and treating the area.
- “OMG, my scalp.”
- “Scalp! It is unbearable. Most treatments are topical and the hair gets in the way, blocking me from directly penetrating the scalp.”
Those who have psoriasis in several areas named the face as the worst place to have an outbreak. It is nearly impossible to hide your eyelids, eyebrows, and other areas of the face, making it a challenge to get through the day.
- “Eyebrows and eyelids. I can hide most other places but not my face.”
- “Having it on my face really bothers me!”
- “Neck and ears”
Another area that many people in the community named the most annoying is the neck and ear region. Especially when you are wearing a mask, this area can be extra sensitive when you have an outbreak.
- “Back of the neck and behind ears.”
- “Inside of the ears.”
- “Behind my ears is so irritating when wearing a mask.”
- “The crease of my neck. Horrible.”
Palms of hands and soles of feet
A type of psoriasis called palmoplantar psoriasis results in red patches on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. On the palms especially, this type of psoriasis can be hard to treat topically. It's difficult to keep it dry and not irritated so that the patches can heal.
- “Palms of my hands. The cracks hurt the most.”
- “My hands. Makes everyday tasks unbearable.”
- “Feet only. Pustules are a nightmare, and so is the extremely dry, flaking skin, which itches like mad! It is a horrible disease.”
Inverse psoriasis affects any areas of skin that rub together, including the groin, armpits, belly button, and undersides of the breasts. These outbreaks tend to be caused by the skin moving against itself, which can be impossible to stop. Doing work, hobbies, and other scheduled activities usually requires movement in these areas. Typically, the cleaner, drier and cooler you can keep these areas, the better.
- “I have plaque and inverse psoriasis. The inverse definitely bothers me more than the plaque. I have a lot more inverse.”
- “I also have inverse psoriasis, which is the worst when active.”
- “Pelvic area.”
It seems that there are very few parts of the body that are not affected by psoriasis. In addition to all the areas named above, a few folks shared other places they have outbreaks, including the tongue and the tailbone. This proves that plaque psoriasis can be unrelenting and unforgiving in its targeting.
- “My tailbone.”
- “Tongue currently. Just when I thought it had no new tricks to pull on me.”
Does your psoriasis management change with the seasons?