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Areas affected by psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin disease. The skin is not only the human body's most visible but also its most extensive organ, which explains the great diversity in the location of psoriasis plaques. Lesions can be of varying size, more or less visible to others, and can interfere to a varying extent with everyday activities. In any event, the person with psoriasis knows that the plaques are there and that they are going to remain for one or even several weeks, until treatment takes effect. Psoriasis can develop on any area of the body, with areas more or less affected depending on the person and the flare-up.

Plaque psoriasis

Psoriasis on the elbows, knees, back, or buttocks

First of all, let's take the most common form, namely plaque psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis lesions occur mainly in areas subject to friction: elbow and knee psoriasis are very well known and common, lower back and buttock psoriasis are also common, and there are also forms of plaque psoriasis that affect the torso and legs, etc. Lesions are often symmetrical, meaning they are found on both the right- and left-hand sides of the body. Plaque psoriasis is relatively easy to hide, especially in winter, when wearing long sleeves and pants. In summer, wearing shorts or skirts, rolling up your sleeves or wearing a jersey is easier said than done! People with psoriasis often sense other people looking at them in a curious, even suspicious, way.

Psoriasis on the scalp and ear

Psoriasis affects the whole body and in particular the upper body regions, namely the scalp and face. Scalp psoriasis is very common and particularly difficult to live with physically, psychologically and socially, even if the affected area is relatively small and hidden by hair. Scratching your head in public is not very well received, however, so you probably try to do it discreetly, starting from below, or you hold back, but you always end up trying to relieve the itching by scratching vigorously with your hands. Scales, even if very thick, pass through the hair without causing it to fall out or blocking its growth. The idea that psoriasis patients lose their hair is a common misconception. Ear psoriasis also exists and can be very disruptive on a daily basis, even if the area affected is very small.

Other areas affected by psoriasis

Psoriasis on the face

Psoriasis on the face can affect the upper (forehead, eyelids), middle (nose) and lower (beard) parts of the face, or even the sides of the face (cheeks). Redness, itching, scales and dryness can cause significant discomfort. People may feel as if they are wearing a mask, with a damaged face that doesn't belong to them, and with thin and fragile skin at the mercy of the surrounding environment and the associated trigger factors. In addition to the treatment prescribed by their dermatologist, people often desperately search for alternative solutions to soothe and conceal lesions.

Psoriasis on the hands, feet and nails

Psoriasis can also affect the hands, mainly on the palms and/or feet, (generally the soles of the feet). This form of psoriasis is less common but very bothersome.
Palmoplantar psoriasis often consists of very dry, very thick plaques with painful cracks. It can be difficult to walk or shake hands with people in these conditions. Palmoplantar psoriasis is different from nail psoriasis, which, as its name suggests, specifically affects the fingernails and/or toenails. Nail psoriais is more common and is often associated with a form of the disease that affects the joints. Of course, the lesions do not look like classic psoriasis plaques. Thickening, deformation, detachment or discoloration of the nails is often observed, resulting in significant discomfort, both esthetically and in terms of going about daily life.

Genital psoriasis

No area of the body is spared by psoriasis, even the most private areas! Genital psoriasis has long remained a taboo subject, including with dermatologists. We are now making genital psoriasis a part of the conversation more and more to encourage patients to talk about it with health professionals and their partners. Genital psoriasis affects both men and women, the plaques are very red and often without scales due to the level of moisture in this area.

Multiple areas affected at the same time

Body areas are rarely affected in isolation, since psoriasis tends to occur in more than one area. Plaque psoriasis is most commonly associated with psoriasis on the scalp, face or nails... But other combinations, not involving plaque psoriasis, such as scalp + nails, also exist. Moreover, psoriasis is not always the cause of new lesions appearing. Try to avoid jumping to conclusions and remember that just because psoriasis is present elsewhere does not automatically mean that the new lesions are also caused by psoriasis. Consult a dermatologist if in any doubt.

In summary, you can have psoriasis on any part of the body. 

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