Psoriasis of the hands and feet is also called palmoplantar psoriasis. And it is one of the most challenging psoriasis types to live with because the itching and pain can get in the way with your ability to perform daily tasks. Activities such as listing down the grocery list, wearing shoes, and even walking can cause stress as well as friction, which in turn inflames the skin on your feet and hands. Palmoplantar psoriasis is a distinct disease under psoriasis, and it specifically affects the palms and soles. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do on your own and with the help of your doctor, to lessen the symptoms of palmoplantar psoriasis.
How to treat psoriasis
The treatment of palmoplantar psoriasis is different compared to how other forms of psoriasis are treated. Several types of treatment are more appropriate for the hands and feet. And these treatment aims to, reduce inflammation, alleviate dryness, itching, flaking, and pain, as well as achieve and sustain disease remission and lessen disease activity.
To be able to do all of these and reduce the risk of flare-ups, it will involve lifestyle interventions as well as oral, topical, or injected drugs to lessen the severity of the symptoms. Here are some things that you can apply to the affected area to help alleviate symptoms.
- Emollient moisturizers – You can apply emollient moisturizers thinly and frequently to help with the dryness, itchiness, and flaking of the skin. These moisturizers can also help prevent cracking.
- Salicylic acid – Salicylic acid is a known keratolytic agent. It is added in lotions, foot balms, soaps, and shampoos. This helps the shedding of dried skin as well as reducing thickened plaques.
- Coal tar – creams, shampoos, and lotions that have coal tar as one of its ingredients can help lessen inflammation as well as slow down skin growth.
- Anti-itch creams – You can also apply anti-itch creams that has containing menthol, benzocaine, and camphor because it helps cool the skin and reduce redness as well as inflammation.
- Calcipotriene – This is a vitamin D derivative that can help slow down the hyperproduction of skin cells.
- Topical corticosteroids – You can also apply topical corticosteroids thriftily to on the affected area to help temper local inflammation and decrease the size as well as the appearance of plaques.
To help improve the skin’s absorption of moisturizers and other creams, you can follow a technique called occlusion where you use plastic gloves, plastic bag, or a cling film to wrap your hands or feet after applying moisturizers overnight or just for several hours. Before following the occlusion technique, you should first talk to your doctor about the right use of occlusion in order to prevent skin irritation.
Unfortunately, there’s still no cure for psoriasis until today, and helping to minimize the flare-ups usually needs a lifelong commitment. Aside from following medical interventions, there are plenty of things you can do every day in order to lessen flare-ups and respond well to treatment.
- Remember to moisturize your hands and feet more often – you should keep in mind to make your skin adequately moisturized, especially after you take a shower or bath, which can contribute to skin dryness.
- Soak your feet and hands in therapeutic baths – Soak your feet in cool water for 10 to 15 minutes to effectively provide relief. You can also add Epsom salt and even oatmeal to the soaked mixture to help soothe inflamed skin.
- Avoid scrubbing and scratching – As much as you want to take off those dry skin and exfoliate the affected area of the skin, scrubbing it with a loofah or brush can make them split and bleed. That is why we suggest that you should use your hands or a soft washcloth to moderately remove scales after you’re done soaking.
- Treat the broken skin – Cracks commonly appear between the fingers and toes, which is why they make the perfect location infection. This is why you should remember to clean any broken skin with warm water and soap, then apply an antibacterial ointment. After that, you should seal the wound by using a medical gauge.
- Change your socks regularly – If you are the type of person who stays on their feet all day and if you are prone to sweating, we suggest that you bring an extra pair of socks with you anytime you leave the house. Aside from this, you can also use talcum powder to help feet dry, or an antifungal spray to avert infection in bleeding skin or cracked skin.
- Learn to manage your stress – Stress can also contribute to psoriasis flare-ups. In order to break the cycle, you must let yourself explore mind-body therapies such as guided imagery, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing to help control your emotions.
Here are some products that can help lessen the symptoms of foot psoriasis:
This moisturizing cream contains ceramides 1, 3 and 6-II, aside from that, it also has Hyaluronic acid to aids to retain the skin’s moisture. It is non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and has a non-irritating formula. All of these contributes to moisturizing and calming the affected area of the skin.
Eucerin skin calming cream gives you long term control of dry and itchy skin. And it also provides 24-hour hydration which soothes dry and itchy skin. Aside from that, it is fragrance and dye free, plus, it has a non-greasy formula that is easily absorbed by the skin.
CeraVe SA Cream is made for rough & bumpy skin because it has a unique formula that can exfoliate and moisturize the skin while helping to restore its protective barrier. It also contains salicylic acid that can help softens rough skin, and lactic acid that helps renew the skin’s surface.
Coal tar bar soap is an effective remedy for painful and itchy skin Coal tar is the black liquid byproduct from the coal distillation process and studies show that it contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. This is why soap works coal tar bar soap helps smoothens and lessen the itching and redness.
Cortizone-10 cream has a non-greasy formula that offers fast relief from itching because it is made to be applied smoothly on the skin. It also contains healing aloe as well as vitamins A and E.
Vita MaxAbsorb Topical Cream has a hypoallergenic, non-greasy, odorless formula that has Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, and Vitamin D3, These vitamins helps your body quickly absorb Calcium and Phosphorus.
Puriya intensive moisturizing cream is made of nourishing plant-rich formula that is able to soothe severe irritation, softens rough, dry, and scaly skin, as well as protect the skin from harmful and triggering elements. This doesn’t clog pores or leave behind an oily residue and it has a light and cooling peppermint scent.
This multi-symptom cream contains medicated salicylic formula and it is non-staining, fast absorbing, and fragrance-free product. It can help relieve itchiness and redness as well as control flaking and scaling. Aside from that, it can also help reduce psoriasis symptoms reoccurrence.