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How to Deal with “Private” Matters: The Truth behind Genital Psoriasis

The male and female genitals are prone to several diseases and problems. One of these is genital psoriasis, which occurs in the penis and scrotum (for males) and the vulva (for females). It is sometimes accompanied by psoriasis in another area of the body, but in rare cases the disease may be focused in the genitals only. The areas that are affected with this disease are shiny, red, and moist, and can be marked with large patches of skin or small spots. These are generally itchy, but are rarely sore. Yeast infections and contact dermatitis may be confused for genital psoriasis.

The worst cases of genital psoriasis can lead to tight and sore spots that may crack. If a person continues scratching the affected area, it may get infected or even sore. Inverse psoriasis may also occur in the skin folds of the genital region. The symptoms of genital psoriasis can be located in the genitals, as well as the pubic area, the inner thighs close to the genitals, and the skin between the buttocks. Men who have genital psoriasis (or penile psoriasis) can observe tiny red patches on the penis tip or the shaft. Women with genital psoriasis can see smooth red patches, which can become dry and thick when scratched.

This disease is caused by tight underwear that rubs on the person’s skin. Athletes and other people who move and sweat excessively experience worse cases of genital psoriasis. Anal psoriasis may also be confused with fungal and yeast infections; doctors would have to conduct a rectal exam to make a correct diagnosis. Anal psoriasis can be observed when there is pain during bowel movements, bleeding in the anus, and extreme itching. The most common treatments for genital psoriasis are UV light therapy and topical medications. Systemic medications are only given when the psoriasis is too severe, it does not respond to topical therapy, or it appears somewhere else on the body.

It is possible for people to confuse genital psoriasis with genital herpes, since these affect a person’s genitals. Unlike genital psoriasis, genital herpes is an infection that can be sexually transmitted and is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Genital herpes occurs on the genitals, specifically the skin and mucous membranes. A person can become infected with genital herpes if he/she comes in contact with a person who already has the infection. This infection can spread without showing any symptoms. But like genital psoriasis, genital herpes cannot be cured, only treated. It is also a chronic condition, and people affected with genital herpes may or may not experience another episode.