Feet Psoriasis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

By | 13/11/2018
how to treat psoriasis on feet

Psoriasis refers to a skin disorder that features chronic recurrent inflammation and scaly patches on the affected area.

This skin condition can show almost anywhere on the body. Eyelids, ears, mouth, hands and even feet.

The feet, like most of the human body, are an essential part of the anatomy. These complex structures formed by 26 bones and 33 joints allow humans to place their body weight on two support areas.

The skin of the sole of each foot is different from the flesh of the rest of the human anatomy because it doesn’t have sebaceous glands.

As a result, the hydrolipidic film (a layer that protects the surface of the skin) of the sole has less fat, which makes it less effective in protecting that particular area.

In the case of the sole, the outermost layer of the skin, known as the stratum corneum, is a lot thicker than the rest of the body’s outer layer.

That allows for the sole of the feet to cushion or better endure the continuous friction that generates walking.

The forces involved in this process sometimes result in the occasional blister or callous affecting this particular area of the body.

However, in the case of the lesions typical from Psoriasis, the pain or discomfort make it difficult for patients to keep up with their daily routines.

Feet Psoriasis can also affect nails, causing abnormalities in the growth of tissue in the nail bed.

This condition can negatively impact the patients’ quality of life despite the relatively small body surface area affected by the disease.

Causes

Medical experts are not entirely sure as to what is the factor that leads to the development of Psoriasis on the feet.

Several doctors recognize that this skin disorder is an inherited inflammatory disease. However, they’re still trying to determine what triggers the outbreak of Psoriasis.

Some theorize that Psoriasis on feet may get triggered by events such as an underlying condition or injury to the skin.

In this regard, one German dermatologist called Heinrich Koebner (1838 – 1904) made a highly relevant discovery.

Koebner found out that patients whose skin became traumatized following an injury respond by developing skin lesions. This process is what doctors know as the Koebner Phenomenon.

The Koebner Phenomenon, also known as Koebner Response or Isomorphic Response, consists of the formation of skin lesions, such as psoriatic lesions, in unusual parts of the body.

Theoretically speaking, a patient can develop Psoriasis in one previously unaffected area of the skin from cuts, bruises, irritation, other skin conditions, or even tattoos.

Symptoms

Feet with Psoriasis often display dry, cracked, irritated skin and, in some cases, pus-filled blisters.

Such symptoms are more likely to appear in cases of female patients rather than male ones. This skin condition usually affects adults.

The affected skin will swell and thicken. And the resulting cracks in the foot’s flesh may lead to infection, which would worsen the condition of the patient.

As a result of the cracks in the skin is a remarkable pain or discomfort, and potential bleeding.

This skin disease features what some people know as Palmoplantar Pustular Psoriasis (PPP), which consists of yellow/white pustules appearing at the sides of the heels.

However, these pustules are not the result of infections, so there is no need to use antibiotics to deal with them.

Diagnosis

If people suspect of the presence of Psoriasis on feet, the best thing to do is to consult a General Practitioner (GP), a doctor that treats all acute and chronic diseases and refer patients to hospitals.

Alternatively, patients can go to see a local Chiropodist, particularly if the nails got affected by this condition and had become thickened.

More often than not, all that doctors need to diagnose Psoriasis on the feet is a simple examination, but for those who want to be sure, they can also resort to a Dermatologist for help.

Treatment

Usual ways to deal with Feet Psoriasis consist of topical ointments, and some patients may progress to phototherapy (ultraviolet light).

In the most severe of cases, people may require injections of medications that block immune cells to stop the excessive proliferation of cells that generate Psoriasis.

Medical experts admit it’s challenging to treat PPP, but some suggest potent topical steroids combined with tar preparations could help to improve the condition of the patients and alleviate the symptoms.

Other doctors treat patients with Acitretin (a vitamin A derivative) tablets, as they find the use of this medication quite useful in dealing with PPP.