When you have psoriasis, you have patches of thick red skin. In severe cases, they can split open. This causes deep cracks, or “fissures.”
There are ways you can ease the pain and treat the bleeding.
1. Treat the cuts.
First, stop the bleeding. Use a clean cloth or bandage to apply steady pressure for 10 minutes. Don’t lift it up to check the wound. When the bleeding stops, rinse the area with cool or lukewarm water. This helps prevent infection.
2. Seal the crack.
Closing those gaps helps them heal faster. It also protects the wound by keeping out dirt, debris, and germs. Ways you can do it include:
Liquid bandage: This over-the-counter product creates a thin plastic coating on the skin. It’s waterproof and flexible. To apply it:
- Gently bring the edges of the crack or cut together.
- Spray, brush, or dab the liquid on top of the skin.
It dries in less than a minute and lasts for up to a week.
Because some of these products are made with alcohol, this might sting. Don’t put it inside a wound, around the eyes, or on large areas of skin.
Super glue: This household staple can fix psoriasis fissures, too. That’s because its main ingredient is the same one found in many liquid bandages. It works in the same way: Carefully bring the edges of the cut or crack together, and dab it to the skin on top to create a seal.
Adhesive bandage or tape: Watertight medical tape can seal cracks. It also keeps the wound moist, which helps it heal. For small cuts, you can also use the sticky part of a bandage. Put them across the wound. They can act as a bridge to hold the skin together.
3. For a quick fix, use lip balm.
You’re out and about when your skin splits. Now what?
If it’s a small cut, put a thick layer of lip balm or petroleum jelly on it. This’ll protect your skin until you’re able to treat it properly.
4. Soften the skin.
Thick, dry patches worsen cracking and bleeding. They can also lead to more fissures. Take these steps to keep your skin moist:
Soak in a lukewarm bath for 15 minutes. Avoid hot water and harsh soaps. They can dry you out. To ease the itching and irritation, you can add:
- Epsom salts
- Colloidal oatmeal
- Dead Sea salts
When you get out, pat your skin dry with a towel. Then put on an emollient ointment, cream, or oil.
At bedtime, slather on some moisturizing ointment, like petroleum jelly. Other options include:
- Vitamin E
- Olive oil
Then cover the area to lock in the moisture overnight. You can use plastic. Wear cotton gloves and socks to protect your hands and feet.
Reapply moisturizer at least twice a day. Think ointment or oil is too greasy? Try a thick cream instead of a thin lotion.
5. Apply a medicated lotion, cream, or ointment.
Your skin cracks when it gets too dry, tight, and stretched. To help existing wounds heal -- and prevent new ones -- you need to can the inflammation that causes the swelling.
The first line of treatment is a corticosteroid lotion, cream, or ointment. They’re available over the counter or as a prescription in higher doses. Put it on once or twice a day. Don’t use it for more than 3 weeks without your doctor’s permission.