Penis psoriasis falls into the genital psoriasis category where the skin of the pubic area including the penis shaft, glans (penis head) and the corona in males. The folds in the skin around the scrotum may also be affected.
In general, psoriasis is a skin condition (disease) often presented with chronic symptoms. In other words, sufferers often experience long-term symptoms and signs.
Signs and symptoms
Here are the signs and symptoms to help identify psoriasis on the penis.
- Bright red thin plaques (the slightly raised and solid part of the skin) or lesions on penis head or part affected
- Red patches sometimes covered with a silvery scale-like appearance
- Burning skin on the shaft of the penis and coronaItching or itchiness sometimes is felt
- Dry skin with cracks if presently visible
- If the lesions or cracks are disturbed or traumatized there is weeping or bleeding
These symptoms are experienced or noticeable on the penis glans, corona and the skin behind it.
Penis psoriasis forms
Penile psoriasis as a condition involves an increase in the epidermal cell turnover rate, which means that skin cells grow faster than normal. Genital psoriasis can affect any male person at any age regardless of their race or skin color
Research in the science of humans can help explain how susceptible or likely you are to suffer from psoriasis. One of the scientific studies shows that about 25 genetic variants may be involved.
Inheriting one on these genes can be a predisposing factor of the skin condition meaning that family history is so crucial and of much importance in terms of who is likely to get psoriasis.
Notably, Anne Bowcock, Ph.D. notes that an environmental trigger like the weather is what leads to psoriasis as far as genetic defects are concerned.
Genetic defects are one of the problems that make psoriasis difficult to treat.
Luckily, psoriasis is a non-communicable disease since it cannot be transmitted from the infected person to the other.
This type of psoriasis commonly affects areas of skin with folds such as the knees and the elbows. Invasive psoriasis is, therefore, a common type of psoriasis among the people affected in the general population.
Some of the psoriasis triggers include:
- Weather change esp. cold and dry weather
- Effects from the excess sun like sunburns
- Food concerns such as allergy
- Infections including invasive candidiasis, upper respiratory infections
- Skin trauma, repeated skin injuries, and bites
Symptoms associated with this type are less likely to present with silvery plaques.
According to the DoveMed, this form of psoriasis produces more severe symptoms. This type of psoriasis is due to higher-than-normal cell turnover or growth due to a genetic defect.
As noted, psoriasis Vulgaris and its developments in males or females can be linked to environmental factors.
Signs and symptoms of the penis
- Red plaques on the penis head with clearly marked outer borders
- Signs such as itchiness are seen
- Pain in the penis
In babies, this form of psoriasis is normally referred to as a napkin eruption of “red and sometimes silvery plaques with well-defined borders in the nappy area of children under the age of 2 years.” [www.dermnetnz.org]
Remedies and Cure
Treatment options here are meant to cool down or deal with the symptoms. In most cases, treatments include prescriptions or OTCs. Therefore, it is generally good and true to notice the improvement of the skin texture.
- Oral administration of steroids
- Creams for topical applications especially for mild cases
- Injections of immunosuppressant drugs
It is highly recommended that you be diagnosed or let your physician examine your skin condition that you suspect before you are treated or go for OTC creams and drugs.
Why diagnosis is important
Not only is it crucial for more suitable remedies but also to help rule out skin conditions with almost similar presentations or signs and symptoms.
Common procedures you may undergo include:
- A physician closely looking at the affected penile skin while/asking questions like what you feel
- Tissue biopsy where scrapping is removed and then is examined under a microscope
In many cases, a differential diagnosis would be preferred where a clear examination to distinguish psoriasis from other diseases/conditions are not reached at.
In that case, you may be asked to have blood tests, medical review of past treatments
Advice on treatments like OTCs
Here is what you need to strictly consider and do while using various treatments for penile psoriasis.
Recently I have been putting hydrocortisone cream 1% on it. It worked pretty well and it went away after about 5 days of use. Then about a few weeks later it came back in the same spot. Is it ok to use hydrocortisone cream on that same spot again or will my skin start to thin?
Creams for penis psoriasis
Treatment using creams can really work to improve psoriatic symptoms on the genitals since the skin allows for excellent absorption.
- Some of the OTCs creams or ointments which contain Dithranol, Tazarotene should be avoided because they cause irritation
- Steroidal creams should be applied as directed
- You should not exceed the application duration even if the symptoms do not get better or improve
Your doctor should give you a green light to take oral drugs for severe symptoms.
IMPORTANT: Medical advice regarding use, applying and duration should be taken into consideration very keenly. Strictly, follow the recommendations and clinical advice from dermatologists or your physician.
Concern for sexual health or activities
When psoriasis affects the penis, it does not mean that if you have sex will pass it on to your partner.
However, penis psoriasis can interfere with your sexual life. Besides the likely emotional stress and lowered self-esteem, having sex with penile psoriasis can worsen symptoms or be the risk for flare-ups especially if you have mild presentations.
With or without protection, if you have been diagnosed with penile psoriasis, sexual intercourse can be the least if you want to increase your chances of living a better life without many frustrations.
Avoid coal tar products
They can aggravate your skin condition such as increasing irritation and consequently leading to pain.
The basic tips for self-care are to ensure you keep the pubic area clean and dry as possible.
Other considerable remedies involve the following natural procedures and lifestyle adaptions.
Apple cider vinegar + baking soda
Though infections are rarely expected with mild penis psoriasis, diluted apple cider vinegar is safer to use on the genitals.
Prepare some warm water if you have undiluted cider vinegar.
- Add 1 -2 tablespoonsful fresh cider vinegar to 1 tsp. baking soda
- Use a small cotton ball and apply gently
- Leave it on for a few moments
You can make use of this remedy after you wake up or before going to bed. If you use this in the morning or when there is cold, ensure you warm your mixture.
Aloe Vera + olive oil/coconut oil
This remedy is a top-of-bill when there are flare-ups of psoriatic conditions. This is a perfect remedy for cracking of skin whose soothing is quadrupled with the addition of olive or the natural healer.
Tips for you:
- Use freshly extracted aloe gel
- Massage gently
- Do not massage if the area irritates/inflames too much or have cracks and scales
- Apply vitamin E or extra virgin oil instead of massage
Select your favorite oil or whatever is available in your kitchen storage.
Coconut oil + honey
With the inclusion of bee wax elements, this remedy ensures your skin does not dry out excessively. Insist natural honey.
- Mix 2 tablespoonsful coconut oil + 1 of natural honey
- Stir thoroughly and well enough
- Apply to the affected area
- Leave to absorb into the cracks and then wash away
You can repeat this as much as you need and when necessary.
If you experience dryness on the affected areas try to apply a warm mixture of coconut oil and bee wax
Turmeric + lavender oil
Combining these two great natural healers for skin ailments can be a step to getting relief from inflammation on the penis skin and the sensitive penis glans.
- Measure a small amount of turmeric powder
- Add 1 tablespoon lavender oil to turmeric
- Apply to the affected areas when or best before the inflammation is likely
- Use warm water to rinse especially in the colder mornings and evenings
IMPORTANT: Avoid any additions of ingredients that may cause irritations on the scrotum
Care tips for penile psoriasis
Since prevention measures are limited to unpredictable genetic defects or makeup, self-care methods are the best even if you are already diagnosed with psoriasis.
In addition to medical advice from your doctor, consider observing the following.
- Do not eat or use handle pepper before applying any of these remedies on your pubic areas especially the scrotum
- Avoid scratching the affected areas at any cost
- Regulate your sexual feelings and use lubricated condoms if you have to
- Use non-synthetic underwear always to reduce irritation and prompting itchiness
- Do not wash the areas around the penis glans and corona frequently
- Avoid rubbing
When to seek medical care
First, if the symptoms do not improve after applying creams or remedies seek a health professional’s care and attention.
Second, you will have an opportunity to get more information and discuss in detail on certain treatments for special cases and helpful therapies for young babies, for instance.
Above all, you should aim at making regular visits to your healthcare provider. This could be beneficial to help address the possible complications and possible life challenges that may come with psoriasis.