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What Is Palmar-Plantar Psoriasis?

By Christina Edwards
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Palmar-plantar psoriasis is a skin condition that afflicts the palms of the hand and the soles of the feet. Symptoms of this type of psoriasis include thick, flaking skin in these areas, along with sterile pustules. This type of psoriasis can be very debilitating as well as embarrassing. Treatment can be difficult, and it can include topical creams, light therapy, and oral medication.

Psoriasis is a type of chronic inflammatory disease, and it usually results in thick, flaky skin. The most common type of psoriasis, plaque psoriasis, can afflict just about any part of the body. Palmar-plantar psoriasis, on the other hand, typically develops only on a person's palms and soles. It is sometimes referred to as hand-and-foot psoriasis.

Most types of psoriasis have similar symptoms, including redness and flaking skin. Palmar-plantar psoriasis is considered a pustular psoriasis. In addition to the redness and flaking skin, pustules will also form.

Palmar-plantar pustules will often be filled with yellowish pus. Although it typically appears to be something of an infection, the pus inside the pustules is sterile. Sometimes these pustules will weep, and they will eventually turn brown and fall off. Shortly afterward, new pustules will pop up in the same place.

Mild to moderate cases of palmar-plantar psoriasis can be somewhat embarrassing. Since the hands are almost always visible, some patients may even find it hard to secure employment, especially in the customer service or food industries. Severe palmar-plantar psoriasis, on the other hand may not only be embarrassing, it can also be quite painful. Severe psoriasis on the hands can often also be very painful, which can possibly cause a person to be unable to use his hands.

Psoriasis on the feet can also be quite painful. People with this type of psoriasis may have problems walking. Standing for long periods of time may also be very uncomfortable.

Treatment for palmar-plantar psoriasis may include topical lotions or creams. Steroid creams, for instance, are commonly used as a psoriasis treatment. Palmar-plantar psoriasis, however, may be resistant to these creams, and additional treatments may be needed.

Ultraviolet (UV) light is also sometimes used to treat palmar-plantar psoriasis. During this type of treatment, the palms and soles of a patient are exposed to different types of UV light. Low doses of a medication called psoralen may also be given. This medication makes the treatment more effective, since it increases the skin's sensitivity to light.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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