How Do You Get Rid of Genital Psoriasis? 6 Ways to Treat

Medically Reviewed on 6/8/2022
How Do You Get Rid of Genital Psoriasis
Learn about 6 ways to relieve symptoms of genital psoriasis and improve the appearance of the skin

Genital psoriasis has no cure, but treatment can help manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups. Because the skin around the genitals is thin and delicate, genital psoriasis can be difficult to treat. It is important to consult a doctor to determine safe and effective treatment that can relieve physical discomfort and improve the appearance of the skin.

6 ways to treat genital psoriasis

1. Topical treatments

Topical treatments include creams, ointments, or gels that are administered directly to the afflicted regions of the skin.

  • Doctors may administer low-dose topical corticosteroids, coal tar and vitamin D-based therapies.
  • Long-term use of powerful corticosteroids can cause skin thinning, especially in parts of the body where the skin is already thin and sensitive such as the genitals.
  • Strong coal tar treatment may potentially increase the risk of genital cancer.
  • Topical therapies, like any drug, should be used exactly as recommended and only under the supervision of the dermatologist.

2. Medications

Though not a first-line treatment for genital psoriasis, psoriasis medications act by inhibiting the immune system, slowing or stopping the autoimmune process that causes psoriasis symptoms.

  • Psoriasis drugs are often administered as pills, injections, or infusions.
  • Because these medications inhibit immunological processes, they can have a variety of negative effects, including an increased risk of infection.

3. Antibiotics

Psoriasis in skin folds serves as a breeding ground for yeast, fungus, and bacteria. Therefore, antibiotics or antifungal medications may be prescribed.

4. Ultraviolet (UV) light therapy

Phototherapy is a viable therapeutic option for genital psoriasis and is often used to treat moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. 

  • UV radiation exposure can help control the lifecycle of skin cells.
  • However, when applied to the genital area, UV radiation should be administered with extreme caution because it poses several dangers, including sunburn and an increased risk of genital cancer.
  • UV light therapy is only used to treat genital psoriasis in certain cases and in considerably lower dosages. It must always be done under the guidance of a professional in UV light therapy.

5. Home remedies

Natural remedies can help treat genital psoriasis symptoms, protect your skin, and reduce the pain of sexual activity. To relieve itching, try the following:

6. Preventative measures

The following suggestions can help relieve skin irritation and promote healing after a flare-up:

  • Wear light, loose, cotton clothing 
  • Keep the affected area clean and dry
  • Practice good hygiene and invest in quality toilet paper to avoid irritation
  • Avoid using perfume, soaps, or lotions in the area
  • Avoid scented panty liners or pads
  • Wear a condom and thoroughly lubricate the area before sexual intercourse
  • After intercourse, wash your genitals and reapply topical creams

How is genital psoriasis diagnosed?

Genital psoriasis is sometimes misinterpreted as a sexually transmitted disease, allergic reaction, or yeast infection.

In order to diagnose genital psoriasis, your doctor will first analyze your symptoms and take your medical history. If your symptoms are unusual or you are resistant to therapy, your dermatologist may take a tissue sample from your skin via biopsy or scraping. 

Psoriatic tissue will show thick, compressed cells under microscopic examination. This can help distinguish psoriasis from other possible skin conditions, such as eczema or cancer.

How to know if you have genital psoriasis

Many people refuse to talk about their genital psoriasis and suffer in silence.

Genital psoriasis affects about 63% of people with psoriasis at some point in their lives. However, symptoms vary depending on the affected area and range from plaques on the external genitalia to cracks between the buttocks. 

Genital psoriasis may cause bright red plaques but without the scales that are common with other types of psoriasis. This is because the genitals are usually covered, which helps the lesions retain moisture, and therefore appear less scaly.

Common symptoms you might experience with genital psoriasis include:

  • Patches of raised, red, glossy skin on the surface of the penis, scrotum, vulva, or buttocks
  • Discolored patches of skin in the creases between the genitals and inner thigh
  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Dryness
  • Flaking
  • Pressure-like sensation 

Although genital psoriasis does not cause sexual dysfunction in males, it can lead to anxiety which can impact sexual intercourse. Furthermore, some of the drugs used in treatment may cause erection problems.


Psoriasis causes the top layer of skin cells to become inflamed and grow too quickly and flake off. See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 6/8/2022
Image Source: iStock image

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da Silva N, Augustin M, Langenbruch A, et al. Sex-related impairment and patient needs/benefits in anogenital psoriasis: Difficult-to-communicate topics and their impact on patient-centred care. PLoS One. 2020 Jul 1;15(7):e0235091.