Skip to main content

Last Updated on February 20, 2024

Inverse psoriasis is a variant of plaque psoriasis, and it manifests itself in unique and often unexpected areas of the body. That’s why its diagnosis and management are a bit difficult.

Everything You Need To Know About Inverse PsoriasisWhether you’re personally grappling with inverse psoriasis, a caregiver supporting a loved one, or simply seeking knowledge to foster awareness and empathy. This blog aims to be your compass in providing you with knowledge about this condition.

What is inverse psoriasis?

Inverse psoriasis, also known as flexural or intertriginous psoriasis, is a type of psoriasis that primarily affects areas of the body where the skin folds or touches, such as the armpits, groin, and under the breasts. Furthermore, it is a less common manifestation of psoriasis and impacts approximately 3% to 7% of individuals diagnosed with psoriasis.

Moreover, it does not typically present with the scaly patches that are characteristic of the disease. Instead, it appears as smooth, red lesions that can be shiny and often accompanied by intense itching and discomfort.

Despite its distinct appearance, it can be easily mistaken for other skin conditions, such as fungal infections, eczema, or dermatitis. However, it is important to differentiate this condition’s symptoms from other skin conditions, as the treatment approaches may differ significantly.

Inverse Psoriasis Symptoms

Recognizing the symptoms is crucial for early detection and effective management of the condition. While the symptoms may vary from person to person, some common signs include:

  • Red, shiny patches: It typically manifests as smooth, red patches of skin that may appear shiny or moist. These patches often lack the characteristic silvery scales seen in other types of psoriasis.
  • Intense itching and discomfort: The affected areas of the body can become intensely itchy, leading to scratching and further irritation. This can cause significant discomfort and affect daily activities.
  • Soreness and irritation: It can cause soreness, tenderness, and irritation in the affected areas. This can make movement or wearing certain types of clothing particularly uncomfortable.
  • Skin maceration: Due to the skin-on-skin friction in the affected areas, it can lead to skin maceration, which is the softening and breaking down of the skin. This can increase the risk of secondary infections.

It is important to note that inverse psoriasis can coexist with other forms of psoriasis or occur alongside fungal or bacterial infections.

Inverse psoriasis Cause

The exact causes are not fully understood. However, several factors have been identified as potential contributors to the development of this condition.

  • Genetic factors: Individuals with a family history of psoriasis are at a higher risk of developing the condition themselves.
  • Immune system dysfunctions: It is considered an autoimmune disease, meaning that the immune system mistakenly targets healthy cells. It is believed that certain immune system dysfunctions can trigger the development of this condition.
  • Environmental triggers: Various environmental factors, such as stress, certain medications, infections, and even weather changes, can trigger or exacerbate it in susceptible individuals. Identifying and managing these triggers can play a significant role in managing the condition effectively.

Inverse Psoriasis Diagnose

Diagnosing it can be challenging, as it can mimic other skin conditions. A healthcare professional experienced in dermatology will typically perform a thorough examination and consider various factors before confirming a diagnosis.

Some commonly used diagnostic methods include:

  • Physical examination: A dermatologist will examine the affected areas of the skin, noting the appearance, location, and texture of the lesions. They may also inquire about the patient’s medical history and previous skin conditions.
  • Biopsy: In some cases, a small sample of the affected skin may be taken for further analysis. This can help confirm the presence of it and rule out other conditions.
  • Skin scraping: If there is a suspicion of a fungal or bacterial infection, skin scraping and testing may be conducted to rule out other possibilities.

Treatment for Inverse Psoriasis

While there is no cure, several treatment options are available to help manage the symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals with this condition.

However, the treatment approach will depend on the severity of the symptoms and the individual’s response to various therapies. Some commonly used treatment options include:

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments, such as creams, ointments, and lotions, are often the first line of defense for managing inverse psoriasis. These medications can help reduce inflammation, relieve itching, and improve the appearance of the affected skin. Some commonly prescribed topical treatments include:

  • Corticosteroids: These anti-inflammatory medications are available in various strengths and can help reduce redness, itching, and inflammation. They are typically prescribed for short-term use due to potential side effects.
  • Calcineurin inhibitors: These medications suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation. However, healthcare providers often use them in sensitive areas, such as the genital region or face, where corticosteroids may not be suitable.
  • Topical retinoids: Derived from vitamin A, topical retinoids can help normalize the skin cell growth cycle and reduce inflammation. They are often used in combination with other medications.

It is important to follow the prescribed treatment regimen and consult a healthcare professional before using any topical treatments.

Systemic Treatments

In severe cases where topical treatments are not effective, or the condition is severe, systemic medications may be prescribed. Moreover, some commonly used systemic treatments include:

  • Oral medications: These medications, such as methotrexate or cyclosporine, are taken orally and can help suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
  • Biologics: Biologic medications, such as TNF-alpha or interleukin inhibitors, are a newer class of drugs targeting specific immune system proteins involved in causing inflammation. Healthcare professionals typically administer these treatments through injections or infusions, closely monitoring the patient’s response.

Inverse Psoriasis Natural Treatment

In addition to medical treatments, certain lifestyle modifications can help manage it and reduce flare-ups. These include:

  • Maintain good hygiene: Keeping the affected areas clean and dry can help prevent secondary infections and reduce irritation.
  • Avoid triggers: Identifying and avoiding triggers, such as stress, certain foods, and environmental factors, can help minimize flare-ups.
  • Moisturize: Regularly applying moisturizers or emollients can help keep the skin hydrated and reduce dryness and itching. Additionally, using aloe vera moisturizers gives added benefits.
  • Wear breathable clothing: Choosing loose-fit, breathable clothing made from natural fabrics can help minimize friction and discomfort.
  • Stress management: Stress can exacerbate the symptoms. Engaging in stress-reducing activities, such as exercise, meditation, or therapy, can help manage stress levels.

Read more about psoriasis detox diets, here!

Living with Inverse Psoriasis

Living with this condition can be emotionally challenging, as it can affect self-esteem and overall well-being. Joining support groups or seeking counseling can provide a safe space to share experiences and challenges of living with psoriasis. Additionally, online resources, educational materials, and reputable websites can provide valuable information and tips on managing it.

Moreover, it is crucial for not only individuals suffering from inverse psoriasis but also their loved ones to equip themselves with useful information about the challenges associated with this condition.


Although this condition is challenging and uncomfortable, it can be effectively managed with the right diagnosis, treatment, and lifestyle modifications. Understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatments is vital for those with inverse psoriasis. Moreover, collaborating with healthcare professionals, staying informed, and making lifestyle changes empower individuals to take control and enhance their quality of life.

Moreover, recognizing the importance of clinical trials in advancing treatment options is vital for understanding and managing it. Remember that you have support available to guide you through your journey with inverse psoriasis – you are not alone.


MetroBoston Clinical Partners is a well established and experienced research center in the greater Boston area. Under the leadership of qualified physicians and medical professionals, we coordinate a range of clinical research trials in Dermatology and Internal Medicine.

Leave a Reply