Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the U.S., according to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF); around 2.2 % of the population, or roughly 1 in 50 people, are affected by the condition; and yes, psoriasis can occur in the genital region, resulting in a sore, itchy, red penis. In addition to the treatment options for psoriasis explored below, maintaining proper penis care can keep the skin as healthy as possible, eliminating potentially embarrassing conditions below the belt.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that affects both men and women. Unfortunately, men are more likely to be afflicted with plaque-type psoriasis in the genital area then women are. Luckily, psoriasis is non-contagious and therefore cannot be transmitted to a sexual partner. Psoriasis is not an STD, though an under the sheets workout may occasionally be linked to a flair up of the condition. Using a condom during sex may help protect the affected area, reducing direct friction and possibly preventing further physical injury to the area. Unfortunately, psoriasis on the penis can be a painful condition that may interfere with a man’s sex life, which is why it is important to seek treatment for the condition as soon as possible.
What does psoriasis look like?
Psoriasis presents with varying degrees of severity ranging from small, dry skin patches that are very mild and may even go unnoticed, to thick, red scaly patches of skin and areas of plaque. It can appear anywhere on the body but is commonly found on the elbows, knees and scalp. Many people are embarrassed by the appearance, particularly if it appears in the nether regions, and may avoid treatment or even fail to disclose it to a partner. While there is no cure, psoriasis often has good treatment outcomes, thus, treatment should not be avoided.
What are treatment options of psoriasis on the penis?
Individuals who suspect they have psoriasis of the penis should seek medical attention from a urologist or dermatologist to ensure it is not a more serious condition, such as an STD. There are many courses of treatment that a doc may recommend including:
Topical Steroids-Over the counter corticosteroids have been found to be very effective in treating penile psoriasis. The medication reduces inflammation and red penis symptoms. For more severe cases of psoriasis, a doctor may recommend prescription strength steroid cream.
Non-Steroid Topical Medication- Various other ointments may be applied topically, which do not include steroids as an active ingredient. Options may include salicylic acid, an ingredient which causes the outer, scaly layer of the skin to shed.
Biologics- Biologic drugs are given by injection, they target specific parts of the immune system and block T cells which contribute to psoriasis. Some injections are given intramuscularly and can be self-administered, while others are intravenous and are given in the doctor’s office.
Ultraviolet Treatment- UV treatment, or light therapy, may be used to treat psoriasis of the penis. Such treatment is a long-standing type of therapy that has been used for psoriasis for decades; often, the patient must go to the doctor’s office for the treatment.
Moisturizers and Bath Solutions- Some doctors may recommend bathing in Epsom salts or Dead Sea salts as a way to reduce inflammation of the area. Using a moisturizer to keep the skin well hydrated may also decrease redness and itching of the area. Combining the two may provide an excellent at-home remedy to reduce the day-to-day symptoms of penis psoriasis. Applying a penis vitamin formula such as Man 1 Man Oil immediately after a bath and while the skin is still damp can help lock in moisture and rejuvenate the skin of the penis. An all-natural crème that is specially formulated for the penis will also provide needed nutrients to reduce skin irritation, improve circulation, and enhance sensitivity of the area.