Having a red elbow or a pair of psoriatic, scaly knees is one thing. But, having a scaly vagina or penis is a WHOLE other ball game. Yes, my friends, welcome to the embarrassing world of genital psoriasis.
Genital psoriasis affects your most intimate, sexy bits – the bits you would protect with your life, which makes it truly horrible.
It’s especially bad as it can often affect your sex life, both by how unsightly it looks and how uncomfortable it can get. Imagine whipping it out for the first time, or taking off your little black dress, and having to explain to your lover that it’s not an STI. “I swear baby, it looks a bit red but it’s not crabs” is not what memorable nights are made of.
Luckily, I have only had minor run-ins with genital psoriasis, and I’ve managed to control it really well with dabs of weak steroid creams. And let me tell you, even then it was distressing.
What type of psoriasis is it down there?
The type of psoriasis normally found around the groin area is called “inverse psoriasis.” This is the type associated with those nice and sweaty areas where skin is already quite thin and sensitive, much to our detriment.
For a man it can appear on the penis, the balls and around the bum, and for women, around the vulva, on the upper thighs, the bum, and very rarely inside the vagina.
How many people get it?
On the statistical side, genital psoriasis is actually quite common! Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and cuddly knowing that we’re not the only ones out there with blazing hot genitalia!?
It normally affects one in three people with psoriasis, and while 33% sounds like a lot, the number is probably a lot higher!
First off, many try to hide it, thinking that it’s a sexually transmitted disease. It doesn’t blister like herpes, or cause ulcers like syphilis, but many people don’t know that. Other people are just embarrassed about going to their doctor or gynaecologist and having to unleash a scary, tomatoe-red body part on them. I’m in that category.
How do you treat it?
Like any other psoriasis patch – just remember that the skin is normally a lot thinner, sensitive and prone to damage down there.
For me, the crucial thing has been catching it at the right time. If you see one or two red spots appear, nuke them ASAP! I use a really weak hydrocortisone ointment and apply it 2 or 3 times a day until it’s gone.
But then again, I do have a penis. For women, I have spoken to other fellow psoriatics, and it seems the best bet is to stop using any washes down there and start using a natural moisturizer than doesn’t upset the vagina further. Then go to see a gyno!