What are the most common locations for psoriasis?

Michael Rosenberg
Michael Rosenberg

Specializes in translating complex information into readable, engaging content. Michael@top10us.com

psoriasis areas

Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky patches to appear on your skin, especially your elbows, knees, scalp, and trunk. These patches are typically itchy and may bleed slightly if scratched or picked at. Psoriasis can also appear on your fingernails and toenails as well as inside your mouth, on your eyelashes, and around your eyes themselves. In addition to appearing all over the body, psoriasis can sometimes even develop in unexpected places, such as psoriasis under the breast or psoriasis under the arms.

Areas Where People Often Get Psoriasis

In general, people often get psoriasis on areas of their body that have a lot of friction or pressure. These areas include your elbows, knees, lower back, and scalp. In addition to these areas being more prone to suffering from a flare-up of psoriasis, they also tend to be more uncomfortable when you’re suffering from a flare-up. That’s because people who suffer from psoriasis experience an increase in flaking and redness that can make those particular regions itchy and inflamed. This is why you might find yourself scratching at those areas quite a bit whenever your skin flares up. If you’ve noticed other parts of your body beginning to exhibit similar signs as some other parts, there’s a good chance it’s developing into another case of psoriasis. Psoriasis could show up anywhere on your body but certain areas like armpits, belly button, ears, face (excluding around eyes), neck, nipples, pubic area, and toes are particularly prone to it.  People with psoriasis typically have cases on just one part of their body but sometimes they do develop multiple patches across various areas of their bodies which is known as generalized pustular psoriasis – it involves pus-filled blisters all over – so if you notice anything odd going on check with your doctor immediately. Those affected by generalized pustular psoriasis will usually experience a massive amount of itching all over their body so keep cool and try not to scratch unless absolutely necessary – doing so may lead to infection.

1) Face

While there are many parts of your body that can develop psoriasis, it’s commonly found on your face. The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) estimates that nearly 75 percent of people with psoriasis will develop it in some part of their face. Psoriasis can be found around your nose, forehead, and cheeks, which makes sense if you consider how much time you spend touching these areas. That means your hands (which carry more germs than any other part of your body) will get especially close to these areas every day. As you rub these areas, they get covered in oil and dirt that can get trapped under fingernails—and eventually cause an outbreak of redness and itching. And when you touch your lips, sometimes makeup residue can become stuck there too. Both of these things might be enough to start a flare-up of psoriasis anywhere on your face. In fact, according to a study conducted by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, 96 percent of patients who had been diagnosed with facial psoriasis said something irritated their skin at least once before a breakout occurred. If left untreated, though, facial outbreaks can spread elsewhere on your body—so treating them is important no matter where they crop up.

2) Scalp

The scalp is probably one of the first areas that people think of when they think about psoriasis. The delicate, sensitive skin on our heads is susceptible to flaking and irritation. For those with scalp psoriasis, topical creams and ointments can soothe irritated skin and relieve itchiness. The problem is, hair often gets in the way of these products, which can lead to clogged pores and even more irritation than before.  One potential solution is a shampoo specially formulated for psoriasis sufferers. You should also be sure to wash your hands after applying your cream or lotion so you don’t transfer bacteria from your fingers onto your head. While having psoriasis on your scalp may seem inconvenient at times, it’s important not to over-wash or dry out the area too much since you’ll just exacerbate existing symptoms.  Instead, you want to let moisture remain in your hair by using non-drying shampoos and conditioners as well as using a towel gently to remove excess water. Applying light oils like jojoba oil or shea butter throughout damp strands can help retain moisture as well.

3) Hands and Fingers

Approximately 25% of people with psoriasis have problems with their hands and psoriasis under nails. The palms and fingertips can be affected, as well as nails and nail beds. The hands and fingers can also experience redness, scaling, cracking, or other dryness.  People who regularly use their hands in work activities (like chefs, athletes, musicians) are especially prone to psoriasis under fingernails. It’s important that patients get periodic checkups from a dermatologist to keep an eye on changes in their hands and fingers—and take care not to scratch them! Resist picking at flaking skin, even if it itches; otherwise, you risk infection from bacteria under your fingernails.  Also, avoid hand sanitizers with alcohol because they may aggravate skin conditions like psoriasis. These might seem like small steps, but they can make a big difference when trying to live with chronic skin conditions like psoriasis. If your hands are very sensitive to touch, don’t try self-treatment methods including homemade remedies or treatments purchased online because many of these options haven’t been rigorously tested by scientists. Instead, contact a dermatologist or medical specialist experienced in treating hand-related ailments for advice on how best to proceed.

4) Arms and Elbows

Though it might seem like you’re more likely to develop psoriasis on your scalp or palms, in reality, it tends to pop up on other parts of your body. Among these locations, your arms and elbows are prime territories, so psoriasis on the elbow can occur. These areas tend to be dry and can easily become irritated when you scratch them. Elbows also have a unique lymph node that drains from both arms—which means that even if you don’t have visible psoriasis there, one side of your lymph node could still be inflamed. In fact, doctors believe many cases go undiagnosed because people assume they’re developing either eczema or a chronic infection. Showering with soap less often and using moisturizers with ceramides can help prevent flare-ups by reducing irritation on affected areas.  Your doctor may also prescribe topical steroids as a temporary measure until your condition resolves. If you live in an area prone to cold weather, wearing long sleeves during those months will give you added protection.

5) Knees

If you have knee psoriasis, your knees may hurt and feel stiff. It may be difficult to walk or climb stairs. People with severe cases of knee psoriasis may lose their ability to kneel and squat—common tasks like kneeling down to pet a dog or grandchild or hiking can become impossible. Weight gain is also a problem because it puts more pressure on joints, worsening pain and stiffness. Knee pain can lead to muscle atrophy (muscle wasting) in your legs, which makes standing even harder. For all these reasons, it’s important that you treat your knee psoriasis early and aggressively so you don’t lose mobility later on in life. Here are several tips to help reduce pain associated with knee psoriasis: 1. Apply moisturizer before exercise 2. Take warm baths 3. Use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 4. Stretch before exercise.

6) Ankles and Feet

While not as commonly targeted by psoriasis as other areas of your body, your feet and ankles may become red, scaly, and itchy if you suffer from an inflammatory form of psoriasis. This can be particularly frustrating because wearing socks or shoes will often make things worse.  For that reason, try to keep your heels and toes covered but let them breathe (and dry out) while you’re at home during a flare-up. If possible, try to wear sandals or flip-flops in public so that they have a chance to air out after being inside all day.  Keep anti-fungal cream on hand, just in case you develop any hotspots that might need fast relief. Finally, when choosing which footwear to choose when dealing with an issue like chronic foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis, look for options made of breathable materials with plenty of arch support–including sporty flats! Not only do these shoe styles look good on their own without socks, but they’ll help alleviate pain even when paired with stockings or padded liners.

Being diligent about moisturizing with lotion daily is crucial too! Hydration is extremely important in helping prevent itching and blistering that’s especially prevalent with low blood sugar levels in diabetics who also have psoriasis.


Psoriasis affects a large number of people all over the world, and you can find it at several different places on your body. It is important to note that treatment methods for each location may vary from one another. If you’re currently suffering from psoriasis and want more information about how it manifests itself in specific areas, contact an experienced dermatologist as soon as possible. You’ll likely be able to get started with a personalized treatment plan once they understand what kind of psoriasis you have and where it’s located on your body.

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