Facial psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition in which red, dry patches of skin develop on the face. Possible triggers of facial psoriasis include:
- Medications (such as lithium, hydroxychloroquine, or prednisone)
- Infections (especially yeast infections, such as Malassezia)
- Injury to the skin
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Sun exposure
- Heavy alcohol use
- Cold, dry weather
Although doctors are unsure what causes facial psoriasis, it is clear that your genes and immune system play a significant role. Approximately 40% of patients have a close family member with psoriasis, and many of the genes linked to psoriasis are involved in immune system function.
What are symptoms of facial psoriasis?
Symptoms of facial psoriasis include:
- Scaly plaques that are red or pink on lighter skin and brown or purple on darker skin
- Mild to intense itching
- Skin sensitivity or burning
Although symptoms are usually mild, facial psoriasis can be extensive and involve several areas such as the following:
- Facial skin
Facial psoriasis rarely occurs solely on the face. While the forehead is the most common area affected, it can also show up on the following:
- Upper lip
What are different types of facial psoriasis?
- True facial psoriasis
- Can appear anywhere on the face and are usually symmetrical
- Plaques may be red, scaly, symmetrical, and sharply demarcated
- May appear as patchy, flaky areas near the hairline
- Can show up on the brows, eyelids, facial hair, or T-zone
- Plaques may be salmon pink and thin with bran-like scales
- Usually associated with diffuse or patchy scalp psoriasis
- Hairline psoriasis
- Typically scalp psoriasis that has extended to the face
- Often impacts the forehead or the ears
- May cause plugged ear canals in severe cases
- Plaques may be thick, bright red, with variable white scales
7 treatment options for facial psoriasis
Although there is no cure for facial psoriasis, symptoms can be controlled with medications. Since facial skin is thin and sensitive, this type of psoriasis can be more challenging to treat.
Consult with your dermatologist about treatment options that are right for you, which may include moisturizers, topical treatments, medications, and phototherapy.
1. General skin care
- Skin care products such as gentle non-soap cleansers and sunscreens may be recommended.
- Moisturizing lotions, creams, and ointments can help relieve itching, dryness, and discoloration.
- Products should be free of alcohol, artificial preservatives, colors, and fragrances to reduce irritation.
2. Topical steroids
- Dermatologists often recommend a low-potency topical corticosteroid, such as over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone or prescription-strength 2.5% for moderate face psoriasis.
- Steroids help minimize swelling and redness by inhibiting inflammatory reactions in the body.
- Skin thinning and pigmentation changes are possible side effects.
3. Nonsteroidal topicals
- Topical calcineurin inhibitors may be used to reduce inflammation and can be administered for longer periods than steroids.
- Since these creams do not thin the skin, they are a good choice for areas where the skin is thinner.
- Drugs may be administered as pills or injections that enter the bloodstream and work to help clear the skin over the entire body, including the face.
- There are two main types of systemic treatments or medications:
- Traditional systemics
- Taken as a pill and helps control cell growth and shedding
- May involve retinoids, immunosuppressive, and chemotherapy drugs
- Proteins that work against certain components of the immune system to help manage inflammation
- Inhibit immune cells, such as T cells, or inflammatory mediators called cytokines
- Cannot be administered orally because they would be broken down in the stomach and instead are administered via injections or infusions, allowing them to reach the bloodstream
- Traditional systemics
- Phototherapy is a psoriasis treatment that uses ultraviolet (UV) radiation to penetrate layers of skin, inhibiting the proliferation of skin cells.
- Phototherapy is usually done under the supervision of a dermatologist, who can keep track of the sessions and the quantity of UV light exposure.
- Types of phototherapy vary depending on the location and severity of the facial psoriasis.
- While there is no special diet for psoriasis, many doctors recommend eating fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and unsaturated fats.
- Reducing sugar intake and increasing intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants may help relieve symptoms in certain people.
7. Stress management
- Since stress is a trigger for facial psoriasis, managing or reducing stress can help prevent the condition from flaring up or worsening
- Experts from the National Psoriasis Foundation recommend the following stress management techniques:
Facial psoriasis presents several psychological and emotional issues because it is difficult to conceal and can lead to low self-esteem. An appropriate combination of medication and support can help the affected person cope with the disease.
- CDC Warns of Potentially Fatal Bacterial Illness on U.S. Gulf Coast
- Helping Others as Volunteers Helps Kids 'Flourish': Study
- FDA Approves Pfizer's RSV Shot for Older Adults
- What to Do When Tough-to-Treat Lymphoma Strikes During Pregnancy
- Rate of Pregnant U.S. Women Who Have Diabetes Keeps Rising
- More Health News »
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Stuart A. Psoriasis on Face (Facial Psoriasis). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/facial-psoriasis
National Psoriasis Foundation/USA. Psoriasis on the Face. https://www.psoriasis.org/psoriasis-on-the-face/
Woo SM, Choi JW, Yoon HS, Jo SJ, Youn JI. Classification of facial psoriasis based on the distributions of facial lesions. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 Jun;58(6):959-63. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18359126/
Top What Triggers Facial Psoriasis Related Articles
Biologics (Biologic Drug Class)A biologic drug is a product that is produced from living organisms or contain components of living organisms. Biologics include recombinant proteins, tissues, genes, allergens, cells, blood components, blood, and vaccines. Biologics are used to treat numerous disease and conditions, for example, anemia, chronic migraine, hepatitis B, hemophilia, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) prophylaxis, HPV prevention, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease.
Can Psoriasis Go Away?Psoriasis is a skin disease that develops due to changes in genetic makeup, and most often, it is passed from your parents (hereditary). It may also occur due to changes in the immune system, autoimmune response, in which your own antibodies start attacking the cells of your body. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition that has no definite cure and only the symptoms can be managed.
clobetasolClobetasol is a synthetic topical corticosteroid used as cream, gel, spray, lotion, ointment, and shampoo for temporary relief from symptoms of plaque psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions. Prolonged use in children can affect their growth and development. Common side effects of clobetasol include hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, application site reactions (irritation, discomfort, burning), skin reactions, upper respiratory tract infection, inflammation of nose and throat (nasopharyngitis), Streptococcal pharyngitis, headache, and numbness of fingers.
coal tar topicalCoal tar topical is a medication applied on the skin and scalp for the relief of symptoms including itching, scaling, flaking, redness, and irritation caused by skin conditions such as dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis. Common side effects of coal tar topical include dermatitis, skin irritation, stinging and burning, skin peeling (desquamation), inflammation of the hair follicles (folliculitis), acne-like eruptions, skin photosensitivity, staining, and discoloration.
CorticosteroidsOral and injectable systemic corticosteroids are steroid hormones prescribed to decrease inflammation in diseases and conditions such as arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, for example), ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, asthma, bronchitis, some skin rashes, and allergic or inflammatory conditions that involve the nose and eyes. Examples of systemic corticosteroids include hydrocortisone (Cortef), cortisone, prednisone (Prednisone Intensol), prednisolone (Orapred, Prelone), and methylprednisolone (Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol). Some of the side effects of systemic corticosteroids are swelling of the legs, hypertension, headache, easy bruising, facial hair growth, diabetes, cataracts, and puffiness of the face.
What Are the Different Types and Causes of Scalp Psoriasis?While there is only one type of scalp psoriasis, numerous types of psoriatic conditions can affect the scalp.
gotu kolaGotu kola is a medicinal herb (Centella asiatica) that has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine systems to treat circulatory conditions, wound healing, abdominal disorders, and memory enhancement. Gotu kola is used for treating wounds, thick raised scarring (hypertrophic scarring), psoriasis, venous insufficiency, varicose veins, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and others. Common side effects of gotu kola include nausea, gastrointestinal upset, high cholesterol levels, burning, skin rash, itching (pruritus), photosensitivity, allergic contact dermatitis, drowsiness, dizziness, and others.
How Do You Stop Psoriasis From Stress?Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease that can be passed down (hereditary) to you from your parents or grandparents. Stress is a common factor that can trigger your psoriasis. Psoriasis has a stronger association with psychiatric disorders than other skin diseases. Stress worsens psoriasis by triggering a complex network of signals between the endocrine (hormones), nervous and immune systems.
How to Get Rid of Psoriasis QuicklyAlthough psoriasis is incurable, it responds to topical and systemic treatments. Topical treatments that may be effective to treat mild psoriasis include creams, lotions, and sprays.
Prednisone is a drug that belongs to the corticosteroid drug class, and is an anti-inflammatory and immune system suppressant. It's used to treat a variety of diseases and conditions, for example: inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), lupus, asthma, cancers, and several types of arthritis.
Common side effects are weight gain, headache, fluid retention, and muscle weakness. Other effects and adverse events include glaucoma, cataracts, obesity, facial hair growth, moon face, and growth retardation in children. This medicine also causes psychiatric problems, for example: depression, insomnia, mood swings, personality changes, and psychotic behavior. Serious side effects include reactions to diabetes drugs, infections, and necrosis of the hips and joints.
PsoriasisPsoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales. There are several types of psoriasis, including psoriasis vulgaris, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and pustular psoriasis. Symptoms vary depending on the type of psoriasis the patient has. Treatment of psoriasis may include creams, lotions, oral medications, injections and infusions of biologics, and light therapy. There is no cure for psoriasis.
Psoriasis Picture 1A reddish, scaly rash often located over the surfaces of the elbows, knees, scalp, and around or in the ears, navel, genitals or buttocks. See a picture of Psoriasis and learn more about the health topic.
Severe Psoriasis PicturesExplore the different types of psoriasis such as plaque psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, and scalp psoriasis. Discover what causes psoriasis and many psoriasis treatment options.
Psoriasis QuizTake the mystery out of psoriasis. Take the Psoriasis Quiz and see what you know about the types, symptoms, treatments and more.
Psoriasis SlideshowWhat is psoriasis? See examples of psoriasis including the different types of nail, plaque, and scalp psoriasis. Learn about psoriasis symptoms, causes and treatment.
salicylic acid topicalSalicylic acid topical is a medication used to soften and remove warts, calluses, and corns in the foot and in the treatment of skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis. Avoid prolonged use or application on large areas of the skin. Common side effects of salicylic acid topical include irritation, burning, stinging, scaling, peeling and shedding, confusion, dizziness, headache, rapid and deep breathing (hyperventilation), and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). Consult your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.
What Is the Main Cause of Psoriasis?Psoriasis is a non-contagious skin disease in which the skin cells grow in numbers faster than normal, producing rashes on the body. Normally, the cells on the surface of the skin are shed as new cells grow beneath. In psoriasis, the swift build-up of skin cells collects on the surface of the skin as scales or plaques. The exact cause of psoriasis is not completely understood. It appears to involve an interplay between a person’s genes, immune system and environment.
Where Does Psoriasis Usually Start?The most common sites of psoriasis are the scalp, elbows, and knees, although psoriasis can involve any part of the body such as the face, palms, soles, and back.
ZoryveZoryve is a topical prescription cream used to treat the symptoms of plaque psoriasis in adults and children over the age of 12. Zoryve is contraindicated in people with moderate to severe liver impairment (Child-Pugh B or C). Serious side effects of Zoryve that require immediate medication attention include hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat; dizziness, mood or behavior changes, anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, impulsive thoughts, thoughts of self-harm, rapid and unintended weight loss, pain or burning when you urinate, and tremors. Consult your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding