Inverse psoriasis is a painful type of psoriasis that forms in skin crevasses, or places on the body where skin rubs against skin. This form of the condition is very rare, only affecting between 3 and 7 percent of people with psoriasis. Rather than presenting as raised bumps, as with the more common plaque psoriasis, this psoriasis is characterized by smooth, red, and shiny lesions. The rash sometimes feels moist to the touch and is typically irritated and itchy.
Causes and Risk Factors
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, which means the rash forms as the result of an overactive immune response. However, doctors have identified triggers that can prompt this immune reaction. Some of the most common include the following:
- Skin trauma (sunburns, abrasions, cuts)
- Alcohol consumption
- Certain medications, especially lithium and beta-blocker
For inverse psoriasis, skin trauma is believed to be the primary contributor to the rash. As skin folds rub against each other, a rash may become aggravated. Excessive sweating and additional friction can further contribute to the immune reaction.
Several factors may put you more at risk for developing this form of psoriasis. People who are overweight, as well as those who have deep skin folds, are more likely to develop inverse psoriasis.
Inverse Psoriasis Symptoms
Inverse psoriasis symptoms are different from most other types of psoriasis. These lesions are smooth, deep red, shiny, and scale-free. The rash is known to crack after some time, which can lead to bleeding and infection. Inverse psoriasis symptoms most often affect the groin, armpits, behind the ears, within the navel, around the genitals, and under the breasts.
Treatment Options for This Type of Psoriasis
There are many products and medications available to treat inverse psoriasis. These may include skin moisturizers, topical corticosteroids, topical or oral retinoids, and phototherapy. If you know of any potential triggers, do your best to avoid them when possible. Inverse psoriasis is also known to respond well to topical antifungals or antibacterials, so talk to your doctor about treatment strategies.
It is important to remember that there is no cure for psoriasis. However, if you are having a difficult time managing symptoms, visiting a dermatologist can help. A doctor can work with you to determine which treatment options will best address your skin.
You should visit a doctor whenever you notice a significant change in your skin. This is especially true for people experiencing psoriasis. While there is no cure for the condition, working with a doctor can help to manage symptoms and work with you to identify and avoid certain triggers. Additionally, inverse psoriasis symptoms often resemble those of an infection. If you’re unsure which condition you’re experiencing, you’ll want to visit a doctor.
The dermatologists at Zel Skin & Laser Specialists are uniquely equipped to help treat your psoriasis, no matter which type you may have. To get started, contact us to schedule a consultation. We’ll assess your skin, symptoms, and lifestyle before recommending a personalized treatment plan.
*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.