Today the internet reminded me that it's World Psoriasis Day and so as a Seattle podiatrist I wanted to let people know that while this condition is most often found on the scalp, knees, elbows and torso it's also found on the feet.

Causes and Appearance

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that appears as raised, red, scaly patches on the skin that cause itching, burning, and stinging. When it shows up on the feet it's sometimes hard to distinguish from other foot conditions such as Athlete's foot. On the toenails, it can have a pitted appearance and can be confused with fungal toenails. Psoriasis can also be found on the soles of the feet.

Triggers

Psoriasis triggers vary by person. Some people are primarily triggered by stress while others are triggered by things external to the body such as injury, vaccinations, and sunburn. Allergies, diet, and weather have also been thought to trigger psoriasis but more research is needed.

Treatment

  • Stress reduction - in the case of psoriasis the body over responds to stress, causing the system to increase inflammation and increase the pain and itch. Decreasing stress through meditation and exercise are most often recommended to alleviate these symptoms.
  • Keep skin hydrated - creams and oils that can lock in moisture such as Amerigel or coconut oil will help prevent and ameliorate symptoms. Other ideas can be found in this Psoriasis Skin-Care Product Guide.
  • Remove scales - it's important to reduce excess skin and prevent psoriasis plaques from cracking and flaking through scale removal. Over-the-counter lotions that contain salicylic acid, lactic acid, urea or phenol will help (National Psoriasis Foundation).
  • Medication - there are also prescription drugs that will help reduce the itch.

Other Causes of Itchy Feet

Many other conditions also cause itchy feet. Read about them here.

If you have a skin condition on your feet or some other foot problem, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

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