If you have an acute psoriasis flare-up on your hands or feet, see your doctor ASAP. He'll work with you until you find something that helps.
Psoriasis on these areas is most likely to show up on the palms and soles. This is called palmar-plantar psoriasis. But it can also appear on the tops of your feet, backs of your hands, and on knuckles and nails.
Q. I'm waking up every morning with little bites on my arms. Could
these be from bedbugs?
A. They certainly could be. Bedbugs -- small, oval-shaped, wingless
insects that feed on the blood of mammals (including humans) -- are making a
big comeback all over the country. Bedbugs get their name from the fact that
they often hide in mattresses during the day -- after feasting on sleeping
people at night.
Unlike ticks and fleas, bedbugs don't carry diseases. But the itching can be
Your hands and feet make up only 4% of your body's total surface area. But psoriasis here can still have a big effect on your quality of life. You might have pain, or you may just want to cover up the scales. If it affects your work, that could lead to a financial burden as well.
Hands and feet psoriasis (HFP) can also cause your skin to:
Crack or split
Blister or have pimple-like spots (pustules)
Medications That Treat Your Skin
Here are some common ways to treat psoriasis on the hands and feet and relieve your symptoms.
In addition to moisturizers, mild soaps, and soap substitutes, your doctor may recommend:
Coal tar products, like creams, gels, or ointments, to slow skin growth and ease itchy, inflamed, or scaly skin
Salicylic acid, a peeling agent that softens or reduces thick scales
Corticosteroids, often creams and ointments
Combinations of these often work better than one treatment alone. Sometimes doctors suggest alternating topical corticosteroids with a type of vitamin D called calcipotriene. Wear cotton gloves when applying it to avoid getting it into sensitive spots, such as on your face.
Your doctor might have you use a corticosteroid under a type of dressing called hydrocolloid occlusion. This filmy layer bonds to the cream, helps keep skin moist, and can be worn for several days.
Medications That Stop Disease Progress
Psoriasis is an immune system condition, so if skin treatments don’t work, your doctor may recommend drugs that affect the disease at a cellular level. These include:
Methotrexate, which slows an enzyme that causes the rapid growth of skin cells in psoriasis
Cyclosporine, to slow down your overactive immune system
Low-dose retinoids like acitretin (Soriatane), to reduce cell multiplication