Caring for your hands and feet

Psoriais on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet may take one of two different forms. You may develop palmoplantar psoriasis, characterized by redness and scaling in these areas, or you may develop pustules in addition to the redness and scaling, in which case your condition is called palmoplantar pustular psoriasis. Either way, the presence of psoriasis on the hands and feet can create an impact beyond the outward physical effects. With this condition, some people may find they cannot pursue certain athletic activities, or some may find difficulty following their chosen career path (if your profession requires that your hands and feet be in the best condition possible). As with other chronic health problems, it's important to treat and manage psoriasis in all its forms as best you can to help minimize its effects on other areas of your life.

To treat psoriasis on your hands and feet, your doctor may recommend a topical (skin-applied) corticosteroid. If need be, a high-potency topical corticosteroid may be used if your skin does not respond to the initial treatment. Hands and feet can tolerate a higher strength medication than some other, more delicate areas of the body.

In more serious cases, other medications such as methotrexate or cyclosporine (called systemics, as they are absorbed into the bloodstream and carried throughout the body and its systems) may be taken by mouth. And acitretin (another systemic, also taken by mouth) may offer particular help for pustular psoriasis. However, you should know that these systemic medications carry the risk of serious side effects, so make sure to ask your doctor any questions you may have about this type of treatment.

Light therapy is another option that may offer relief (sometimes in combination with other medications) for psoriasis scaling on your hands and feet.

For further information on treatment, or for resources to help manage the impact of this condition, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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