What is psoriasis?

If you notice a rash over your body skin, anywhere, which is red, itchy and scaly, it’s better to see a dermatologist for diagnosis.

While a red itchy patch could be a fungal infection or eczema, psoriasis needs to be ruled out.

Psoriasis is a auto immune disorder, where superficial skin cells of a particular area of the skin start multiplying.

As they multiply, they pile up over one another, creating a red colored raised patch there, that is itchy. The margins may be red, and the patch is typically very dry.

Red patches seen in similar looking conditions, as mentioned above are not raised. They do not contain piled up skin cells.

However, since they are also red, and slightly raised due to inflammation, diagnosis requires an expert.

Genital Psoriasis

Psoriasis may be seen over the genital areas as well. Sometimes, this is the sole area of presentation.


Rashes over the genital areas are bright red, glassy and not as thick as else where over the body. They are less scaly but itchy. This is because the region is usually covered, and hence retains moisture.

Commonly affected areas include the pubic region, vulva, penis, buttock folds and the groin folds. Some may show involvement of skin over the inner thigh.

Penile Psoriasis

Psoriasis of the penis is common in men suffering from this disorder.

A red shiny patch may be seen over the glans, that is the tip of the penis. Often mistaken as an ulcer or injury, the condition is mostly ignored.

Red shiny patches have also been seen over the shaft of the organ.

Patches are slightly itchy, not scaly.

Incidence of psoriasis is equal in both circumcised or non circumcised individuals. So, circumcision does not prevent this from happening.


Why psoriasis occurs is not properly understood. It happens when your immune system signals the brain to quickly produce skin cells at particular locations. This may be in response to certain irritations there, general stress, or certain viral illness.

These factors may serve as triggers, after which the skin cells continue to multiply and build up plaques at certain locations. Even after the trigger is away, the condition continues, usually for years or even a life time.

Is Psoriasis Contagious?

This is a big question and the answer is no. Since the illness is from inside, you cannot get it by touching the skin of the affected or by sexual intercourse.

Psoriasis is an immune disorder. It is not an infection.

Management of Penile Psoriasis

Firstly, avoid using any soaps, gels or perfumed products there. This is to avoid irritating the already irritated skin of the region.

Treatment is very effective, since the region is covered. Start applying a potent topical steroid cream. This has to be done under the supervision of your doctor. Too much use may cause thinning of the skin there.

The steroid treatment is coupled with vitamin D creams. together they both work to heal lesions.