Inverse psoriasis

Inverse psoriasis is one of the seven types of psoriasis. Inverse psoriasis is also known as flexural psoriasis.

Inverse Psoriasis Symptoms

Inverse psoriasis is characterized by inflamed red patches of skin (lesions) which do not have the cover of thick skin associated with the more common plaque psoriasis.

The red patches of inverse psoriasis have a shiny and smooth surface.

The inflamed skin patches are sensitive and can be easily irritated through adjacent skin rubbing the patches or from sweating in these areas.

Rubbing of the patches can be very painful a they do not have the cover of protective thick layer as with plaque psoriasis.

Skin rubbing and sweating are irritants of inverse psoriasis. The red patches appear in unexposed skin areas including skin folds, around the buttocks and the genitals.

It is not unusual for people who have excess skin following a weight reduction program or surgery to develop inverse psoriasis especially within their abdominal skin folds.

Flexural psoriasis is a rarer form of psoriasis and affects between 2-6% of those with psoriasis.

Skin Areas Often Affected By Inverse Psoriasis

  • Abdominal skin folds
  • Armpits
  • Buttocks
  • Genitals
  • Under the breasts

The skin areas listed above promote sweating and rubbing which irritate the inverse psoriasis causing itching and soreness.

What Is Flexural Psoriasis?

Inverse psoriasis does not usually occur on exposed skin surfaces, and is found in areas where the skin touches itself and flexes with movement; hence the alternative name for this condition, flexural psoriasis.

Flexural psoriasis is more common in overweight people and those with deep skin folds.

Inverse psoriasis treatment

Due to sensitivity of the inflamed skin patches of inverse psoriasis, treatments are used with caution as they may cause extra irritation. This especially holds true for inverse psoriasis of the genital area.

Steroid creams

Steroid creams are an effective treatment for inverse psoriasis but should be used with caution. The creams prescribed are topical and are applied locally to the skin.

When applied the area treated should be left uncovered. Overuse of steroid creams can lead to side effects including stretch marks and thinning of the skin particularly where the cream is applied within skin folds.

Due to the warm, moist and sweaty nature of deep skin folds, these areas are prone to fungal and yeast infections. To treat these infections, diluted steroid creams may be prescribed along with anti fungal and anti yeast treatments.

Other Topical Treatments

These include anthralin, coal tar or Dovonex which may cause irritation and should be used with medical guidance.

Some people with inverse psoriasis have found Castederm or Castellani's Paint useful in controlling the moisture levels of the affected skin area.

In liquid form, Castederm is painted on the skin and helps to dry the moist inflamed patches.

Powers can also help control skin moisture levels.

Inverse Psoriasis Ultraviolet B (UVB) Treatment

UVB treatment may be of benefit to people with inverse psoriasis. The treatment involves a person undressing and being exposed to a UVB lightbox. It thought that that UVB light slows down the growth of psoriasis cells.