Understanding Psoriasis Hands: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options

Understanding Psoriasis Hands: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options
Psoriasis can be a challenging condition to live with, particularly when it affects areas of the body that are frequently exposed, such as the hands. Psoriasis hands can be both painful and unsightly, and can make even simple tasks like washing dishes or shaking hands difficult. In this article, I will discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for psoriasis hands, as well as tips for caring for and coping with this condition.


Introduction to Psoriasis Hands

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes the skin to become inflamed and produce new skin cells at an accelerated rate. This can result in red, scaly patches on the skin that are often itchy and painful. When psoriasis affects the hands, it can be particularly challenging, as the skin on the hands is constantly exposed to the elements and frequently used for tasks that can further irritate the skin.

Symptoms of Psoriasis Hands

The symptoms of psoriasis hands can vary from person to person, but may include red or pink patches of skin that are covered with silver or white scales. The skin may also be cracked, dry, and painful, and may bleed or ooze in severe cases. In addition to these physical symptoms, psoriasis hands can also cause emotional distress, as many people feel self-conscious about the appearance of their hands and may avoid social situations as a result.

Causes of Psoriasis Hands

The exact cause of psoriasis is not fully understood, but it is thought to be related to an overactive immune system that mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells. This immune system dysfunction may be triggered by a variety of factors, including genetics, stress, infection, and certain medications. When psoriasis affects the hands, it may be exacerbated by environmental factors such as cold, dry weather or frequent exposure to water or chemicals.

Types of Psoriasis Affecting the Hands

There are several different types of psoriasis that can affect the hands, including:

  1. Plaque psoriasis: This is the most common form of psoriasis and typically presents as raised, red patches of skin that are covered with silver or white scales.

  2. Guttate psoriasis: This form of psoriasis appears as small, red dots on the skin and is often triggered by a strep infection.

  3. Pustular psoriasis: This rare form of psoriasis can cause painful, pus-filled blisters to form on the skin.

  4. Inverse psoriasis: This type of psoriasis affects the skin folds and can appear as bright red, shiny patches of skin.

Diagnosis of Psoriasis Hands

If you suspect that you may have psoriasis hands, it is important to see a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis. Your dermatologist will examine your hands and may take a small sample of skin (a biopsy) to confirm the diagnosis. They may also ask about your medical history, family history, and any medications you are currently taking.

Treatment Options for Psoriasis Hands

There are a variety of treatment options available for psoriasis hands, including medications, topical treatments, and home remedies. Your dermatologist may recommend one or more of the following treatments based on the severity of your symptoms:

Medications for Psoriasis Hands

  1. Topical corticosteroids: These medications are applied directly to the skin and can help to reduce inflammation and itching.

  2. Retinoids: These medications are derived from vitamin A and can help to slow down the growth of skin cells.

  3. Immunosuppressants: These medications work by suppressing the immune system to reduce inflammation and slow down the growth of skin cells.

Topical Treatments for Psoriasis Hands

  1. Moisturizers: Keeping the skin on your hands well-moisturized can help to reduce itching and prevent cracking and bleeding.

  2. Coal tar: This topical treatment can help to reduce scaling and inflammation.

  3. Salicylic acid: This medication can help to soften and remove scales from the skin.

Home Remedies for Psoriasis Hands

  1. Oatmeal baths: Soaking your hands in an oatmeal bath can help to soothe itching and reduce inflammation.

  2. Aloe vera: Applying aloe vera gel to the affected areas can help to soothe the skin and reduce inflammation.

  3. Tea tree oil: This essential oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce inflammation and itching.

Caring for Psoriasis Hands

In addition to medical treatments, there are several things you can do to care for your psoriasis hands, including:

  1. Avoiding harsh soaps and detergents that can irritate the skin.

  2. Wearing gloves when doing tasks that may irritate the skin, such as washing dishes or gardening.

  3. Using a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home.

Living with Psoriasis Hands: Coping Strategies

Living with psoriasis hands can be challenging, both physically and emotionally. Here are some coping strategies that may help:

  1. Talk to a mental health professional: Psoriasis can cause depression and anxiety, and speaking with a therapist or counselor can help you to manage these feelings.

  2. Connect with others: Joining a support group or online community can help you to connect with others who are going through similar experiences.

  3. Practice self-care: Taking time for yourself to do things you enjoy, such as reading, exercising, or taking a relaxing bath, can help to reduce stress and improve your mood.

Preventing Psoriasis Hands

While there is no surefire way to prevent psoriasis, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing the condition or exacerbating existing symptoms. These include:

  1. Managing stress: Stress can trigger psoriasis flares, so finding ways to manage stress, such as through exercise or meditation, may be helpful.

  2. Avoiding triggers: Certain factors, such as infections, injuries, or medications, can trigger psoriasis flares. Avoiding these triggers when possible may help to reduce your risk of developing psoriasis hands.

  3. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle: Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and not smoking can all help to support overall skin health and may reduce your risk of developing psoriasis.


Psoriasis hands can be a challenging condition to live with, but there are many treatments and coping strategies available to help manage symptoms. If you suspect that you may have psoriasis hands, it is important to see a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. With the right care and management, it is possible to live a full and healthy life with psoriasis.