Psoriasis manifests itself in different ways for different people, particularly when it comes to the parts of the body that are affected by flare-ups. Symptoms of psoriasis can occur practically anywhere on the body, but certain areas are more prone to it than others.
Scalp psoriasis is very common, most often occurring around the edges of the hairline such as the forehead and behind the ears. Severity can range from a relatively thin covering in a small area to thicker breakouts across large portions of the head. Due to the presence of your hair, it can be more difficult to treat psoriasis on the scalp than it is in other areas of the body, particularly with topical creams. For this reason, many GPs and dermatologists prescribe specialist scalp applications and shampoos to people suffering from scalp psoriasis.
Elbows and knees
The elbows and knees are very common problem areas for psoriasis, again ranging from small patches to full coverage of the area. In more severe cases, the presence of psoriasis on a joint can result in painful fissures and bleeding. Fortunately, there are many topical creams and over-the-counter emollients that can be easily applied to these areas, in association with GP-prescribed treatments where necessary.
Hands and feet
When psoriasis occurs on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet, the complications can be more severe than with other parts of the body. This is because these areas are in constant motion and contact with external objects. Blisters, fissures and swelling are common side-effects of psoriasis on the hands and feet. Many dermatologists recommend a combination of topical creams for psoriasis, including coal tar, salicylic acid and corticosteroids.
Psoriasis breakouts on the chest, stomach and upper and lower back are very common, and although easier to hide day-to-day, can still cause significant discomfort and damage to the sufferer's self-esteem. A variety of topical creams and gels are available to treat inflammations in these areas, while prescribed medications and light treatment can offer relief in moderate to severe cases under the direction of a GP or dermatologist.
Facial psoriasis can be one of the most distressing areas to suffer an outbreak, and around half of all psoriasis sufferers will experience it at some point. Inflammations tend to occur around the hairline, on the forehead, on the jawline and between the nose and top lip. Because the skin on our faces is more sensitive than other parts of the body, treatments are more complicated. Carefully selected, low-strength topical creams can be bought over the counter, but should be applied sparingly and with care. UV light therapy and certain systemic medicines can also provide relief if your dermatologist deems it necessary.