About Genital Psoriasis in Women
Do we know the frequency of genital psoriasis in the population, men and women?
Genital involvement (female and male) is common during psoriasis, affecting 46.5% of individuals during the course of their psoriasis.
We don’t really know the precise frequency of psoriasis of the vulva in the female population with psoriasis.
Vulvar psoriasis represents 2% of the reasons for consultation in vulvar pathology; it is also the third cause of consultation for vulvar involvement in the girl after eczema and lichen sclerosus.
Vulvar psoriasis is rarely isolated (2 to 5% of cases), but much more often associated with extra-genital psoriasis (70% of cases).
Description of genital psoriasis in women
Are there several forms of genital psoriasis in women? If yes, which ones?
Yes, there are several forms of vulvar psoriasis. The best-known form is so-called inverted psoriasis.
It reaches the folds of the root of the thighs by producing inflammatory cupboards (red), with clear borders, little or not at all squamous contrary to the patches of the skin which desquamate.
The absence of scales is related to the humidity of the folds. Other folds (sub-mammary folds, abdominal folds, navel) are very often affected too.
Psoriasis can also be present within the hairy areas of the vulva (pubis and labia majora).
It is very often itchy (itching) and chronic scratching nurtures psoriasis. Again, there is an inflammatory placard which extends to the entire pubis, with sharp edges or sometimes a smaller plaque on a large lip.
Psoriasis can finally be localized to the labia minora
Always in the form of a red plate, well limited. The vaginal mucosa itself is not affected by psoriasis. The diagnosis of this form is sometimes more delicate, requiring additional examinations, such as a mycological specimen or a vulvar biopsy.
How to treat women genital psoriasis?
Are the treatments the same for treating the vulva (upper part) or the mucous membranes (internal)?
The treatment of vulvar psoriasis is primarily of cortisone creams.
Cortizone 10 Ointment provides petrolatum-based service to offer an occlusive barrier to help save moisture in the clean areas of the skin.
It gives fast relief when you are tempted to scratch rashes, eczema, bug bites or psoriasis. Cortizone cream helps to reduce itchiness for comfort and healing.
It helps to relieve itching associated with minor skin inflammation, rashes from poison ivy, irritation, and insect bites.
- Inflammation and redness
- Skin irritation rashes
- Insect bites
- A well-rounded medicine cabinet
- Cortizone brings fast itch relief
Depending on the affected area, the dermatologist will prescribe more or less powerful dermo-corticosteroids.
Indeed, in the folds, the absorption of the dermo-corticoid is increased by the occlusion and the natural maceration and one will prefer dermo-corticoides of weak power with moderate.
In hairy areas, where the skin is thicker, strong or very strong dermo-corticoids will be proposed. As with other vulvar inflammatory diseases, such as lichen sclerosus, dermo-corticoids can be used prolonged with good local tolerance.
Treatments containing vitamin D may be offered in the form of gel on the hairy areas but they are irritating to the mucous membranes.
How to reduce pain caused by genital psoriasis in women?
The pain, often of the type of burns, is related to the presence of cracks or excoriations (abrasions) related to scratching within the psoriasis plaques.
Like itching, cortisone creams will relieve them. It is advisable to combine hydration of the mucosa with an emollient or a locally applied oil.
Whenever possible, avoid using ointments in any case for longer periods, as they cause maceration which may itself be responsible for irritation and therefore maintenance of psoriasis.
Are there any washing products (soap, syndet) that help reduce inflammation? The itching?
We must focus on everything that is not irritating: surgras soap, syndet, shower oil but it is primarily the topical corticosteroids that will reduce inflammation.
Roge Cavailles Extra-Mild Superfatted Soap 250g
Babies, children and older people use Roge Cavailles Extra Mild Superfatted soap. It enriches with almond oil to clean the skin carefully and softly. It has superfatted ingredients which leave a protective film on the skin. Use it daily to wash face and body for sensitive skin.
- Superfatted Ingredients
- It is used by older people, children and babies
- It enriches with almond oil
- It is ideal for daily cleaning of sensitive skin
- After the shower, after wiping, heat the folds with a hair dryer. The increase in temperature very gradually improves epidermal differentiation and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It is a treatment to follow indefinitely.
Similarly, there, as elsewhere, non-aggressive washing is useful for women, thanks to Saforelle products. But it is only the specific treatment that will control the itching.
Local corticosteroid therapy, in the form of lotion, by choosing a non-alcoholic lotion such as the Betneval lotion.
This treatment should be done every night for one month just before heating with a hair dryer, then the application can be spaced out gradually while maintaining a very prolonged weekly application. It is very effective against itching.
Women usually tolerate this treatment very well, which has no side effects.
What underwear can you wear (cotton …)? Should women with genital psoriasis avoid too tight pants, tights?
The friction, on the vulva as on the skin, can aggravate or maintain psoriasis by a Koebner phenomenon.
If we cannot stand tight pants, strings … then remove them, at least momentarily!
But no study proves that one must systematically get rid of it!
Is the attainment of the inter-gluteal fold automatic when one has a genital lesion? How to treat it?
Gluteal fold involvement is extremely common and often helps the dermatologist confirm the diagnosis of vulvar psoriasis. The treatment is the same as that of the vulva.
Appropriate advice and remarks
Can we use a female condom in full thrust of psoriasis?
There is no contraindication to this, as psoriasis has no impact on the vaginal lining.
Should we avoid the intercourse penetration during the period of inflammation?
Theoretically no, since there is no vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina) during psoriasis. But the penetration can be painful if there are cracks or very substantial inflammation.
Can psoriasis cause lubrication problems?
No. However, especially in cases of genital involvement, psoriasis impairs the quality of life and sexual well-being. It is possible that psoriasis has an effect on the libido, and that the lubrication becomes worse.
In periods of menstruation, should we prefer sanitary napkins or tampons?
Every woman will use what suits her best!
How to differentiate psoriasis from mycosis?
When the dermatologist has a diagnostic doubt between psoriasis and fungus (candidiasis or dermatophyte), he will ask for or practice a mycological sample. This is not a painful examination. It involves rubbing the skin or mucous membrane with a swab (a kind of cotton swab).
Can we also have both at the same time?
Yes, but it’s actually quite rare, especially for women.
Psoriasis and STI …
Some patients often worry as they often think confuse psoriasis with STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection).
What can we tell these patients?
It is important to tell them that, like on the skin, genital psoriasis is not contagious!
In women, the main differential diagnoses of vulvar psoriasis are not STDs or STIs, and this usually does not pose a problem for the dermatologist.
Psoriasis and libido: does psoriasis affect libido? What advice can we give?
Yes, genital psoriasis affects the quality of life, especially sexual life, which can then be responsible for psychological distress. It seems that it is more marked in women than in men.
The first tip to give them is to dare to talk about their genital psoriasis to their doctor and their dermatologist will take care of it.
If a relationship of trust is established between the practitioner and the patient, libido disorders can also be approached and defused.
The disappearance of cracks, excoriations related to scraping will allow to find a “local well-being” that will promote libido, lubrication and satisfactory sexual intercourse.
In any case, Psoriasis and Happiness can very well work together!
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Hello John, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I have a friend of mine who has this problem and he is still on therapy with the help of his doctor. may I ask can psoriasis occur at a young age, like 12-18 years? I am really glad I learned something new today, I knew about psoriasis but never known that much.
Thanks commenting on my article Danijel. Unfortunately, there in no complete cure for psoriasis, but one can, with patience and a proper program, live a totally normal life with it. Perhaps you should share this website with your friend, I am sure that he/she will find some interesting natural remedies in it.
Psoriasis can occur at a very young age. It is not uncommon to find youngsters at the age of 12 who already have it. As a matter of fact, my next blog post will be about psoriasis in children, so stay tuned if you are interested, or better yet, signup to my newsletter (bottom of each page) so that you will be notified as soon as the article is live.
I wish you the very best,
Hello John, Lots of people do not know about the different Psoriasis especially Genital Psoriasis. I have psoriasis on my neck and back which are painful at times that inch. Cannot imagine women or men experiencing this type of pain in the genital area. I was told my psoriasis could be genetic and caused by sunburn, do you believe this could be the problem? It is caused by sunburn, the next question is how genital psoriasis comes about?
Thanks for sharing your experience with us Jannette and for your questions. It is believed that psoriasis is genetic, but as all genes, it may skip generations. Also, it can be caused by sunburns. And then, genital psoriasis can be triggered in the same way as any psoriasis, really. For those that it worries, psoriasis is not contagious, therefore genital psoriasis cannot be contracted by sexual intercourse.
Wishing you the very best for your psoriasis. Have you tried some of the remedies I have shared on my various articles?
Genital regions are very important, they are crucial for our life and thus they need much care – whether we are men or women – and regardless of whether we choose to have children or not. They must be healthy.
Many people feel ashamed to discuss these problems if they occur, but at the same time it is distressing to have them (as psoriasis in women), not to mention the potential life danger these diseases may sometimes bring with. Or the contagious factor, where applicable (fortunately not to psoriasis).
And women’s reproductive system is more complex than ours (it must sustain the development of the new life), they need to be cared (and cured if affected) so the woman will have a good health status again, nothing to feel ashamed of, and preserve her ability to have children.
Psoriasis, by being so itchy, can affect also the quality of sleep. It has to be treated and got rid of!
Best regards, Peter
Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts and recommendations on the subject Peter. You are totally right, one should not be ashamed of consulting a medical practitioner. I can believe that it may be more difficult for a woman to consult a doctor especially if the doctor is a man, but there are also many female doctors. So, there is no real reason to be ashamed.
If it is too hard for a woman to take the first step, they can then already look into the natural products that are available, but if there is no significant positive results in a reasonable period of time, by all means they must consult as it might be something else that they have contracted.
Wishing you the very best Peter.
By the way, I have just posted a new article which completes the series: About Genital Psoriasis in Men
Thank you for sharing this educational content on genital psoriasis in women. You did a very good job breaking down every thing about this ailment and answering every possible questions that can ever pop in our minds. It’s very good to see that it is not contagious and that there are ways to treat it.
All the best,
Thanks very much for reading my article MrBiizy, and for taking the time to share your thoughts. I wish you the very best.