Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease and inverse psoriasis is one of the various forms of psoriasis. This type of psoriasis occurs in skin folds where the skin rubs against the skin. Inverse psoriasis is commonly seen in underarms, under the breast, genital folds, inner thigh and folds of buttocks. It is also referred as intertriginous psoriasis.
As with other forms of psoriasis, the lesions present in folds are red, shiny and smooth but with less scaling. This is because the dampness and moisture present in folds prevents scaling. Yeast infection frequently prevails in skin folds of underarms, genitals and other areas. Overgrowth of yeast is a contributory factor to trigger skin patches of inverse psoriasis.
Treatment of inverse psoriasis consists of application of topical anti fungal cream, retinoids etc. Certain herbs such as aloe vera and burdock root are traditionally used to alleviate itching and other symptoms.
What Causes Inverse Psoriasis?
Any type of psoriasis occurs due to an abnormal immune system. Therefore it is called an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks cells of body. In case of psoriasis, the immune system accelerates the production of skin cells too quickly than its normal cycle of one month. As a result skin cells begin to accumulate on the surface of skin forming layers of silvery scales.
Inverse psoriasis is a variant of psoriasis. Excessive perspiration and friction in skin folds are secondary causes of inverse psoriasis. Inverse psoriasis mostly occurs in people having psoriatic lesions of other variety on their body. However, sometimes it can also occur as solitary lesion.
If a person is obese and has psoriasis he is more likely to suffer from inverse psoriasis. Obesity increases friction and more skin folds and thus makes the skin susceptible to this form of psoriasis. It is also suggested that yeast and fungal infection has a link to trigger development of inverse psoriasis.
Inverse Psoriasis Symptoms
Unlike other forms of psoriasis, inverse variety has lesions at limited sites. The affected area is more red and distinct. The skin lesions are moist and less scaly or silvery. It is not raised or dry. The red patches are moist. However, there is intense itching and pain as compared to other forms.
The red moist lesions are seen in skin folds of groin, arm, penis and vagina, under the buttocks, under the breast of women, belly button and lips. The lesions aggravate due to rubbing of skin against skin in the folds. Patient feels uncomfortable while walking, running or moving his hands.
Sometimes when present on penis and vagina, sexual intercourse is discomforting. Patient tries to avoid intimacy due to extreme irritation while performing the act.
Natural Treatment For Inverse Psoriasis
Just like other forms of psoriasis, there is no satisfactory cure for inverse psoriasis. The skin folds are sensitive area. Dermatologists usually treat the condition with topical creams containing corticosteroid. This may give temporary relief, but its long term use may lead to systemic or local side effects. The goal of management is to reduce inflammation, itching and discomfort caused by inverse psoriasis.
Castellani’s paint is often prescribed by doctors to alleviate symptoms of inverse psoriasis. This cream is applied on the affected areas of skin folds. It helps to keep the skin area dry. Its powder form is also effective. Many people apply the cream at night and during the daytime they apply the powder on the lesions present on skin folds.
The other mode of treatment is light therapy. The ultraviolet light is found to reduce the fast multiplication of skin cells in inverse psoriasis. During the initial photo-therapy, psoriasis may worsen before better results are seen.
Certain lifestyle adjustments are necessary at both physical as well as emotional level. Wear loose fitting undergarment when the condition is present in groin folds and buttock creases. It allows free flow of air and keeps the area dry. Wear loose trousers and tops to prevent sweat getting trapped in the skin.
Use talcum powder to absorb perspiration. When taking a shower avoid using harsh soaps. Bathe with lukewarm water. Apply a natural moisturizer like coconut oil after bathing.