Common symptoms and precautionary measures
The symptoms of psoriasis can vary depending on which part of the body is affected. Discuss your psoriasis with your doctor, who will be able to prescribe the right treatment to help you manage the condition.
Symptoms and management of psoriasis on your legs
Psoriasis on the legs usually takes the form of oval or irregular-shaped plaques. Sometimes several lesions grow together to form one larger lesion. Plaques on the shins and knees are often very itchy. If the plaques are located across the line of joint movement, you may see cracks in the lesions. It may be helpful to pay particular attention to these lesions when you are softening your skin with a moisturizer.
The ankles may also swell at the end of the day because of poor circulation, potentially making plaques worsen. If this is the case, you can reduce pressure on your skin by exercising the calf muscles. Bend your knees from time to time when standing or lying down to allow the muscles to pump blood more efficiently to your heart.
Plaques on the shins and knees are often very itchy. The ankles may also swell at the end of the day because of poor circulation, potentially making plaques worsen. If this is the case, you can reduce pressure on your skin by exercising the calf muscles.
Symptoms and management of psoriasis on your feet
Hyperkeratotic psoriasis is common on both feet (and the hands) it is common to have a hyperkeratotic form. The lesions are very thick and can be either well defined or more diffuse. The sole/palm as well as the sides of the toes/fingers are often affected.
Another form is pustular psoriasis. In this form of psoriasis a number of small pustules (blisters), with or without scaling, redness and crusts) result in unpleasant lesions on the soles (or palms). Although the pustules may look like an infection, they are actually sterile. The feet may be sore and it may be very painful.
The problem may be worse for people who have flat feet, are tall or overweight, or have a job that requires prolonged periods of standing.
Caring for your feet
Good everyday hygiene is important when psoriasis affects your feet. Footwear should be light and comfortable. Choose shoes that will keep your feet cool and dry and allow the air to circulate freely.
Try foam, cork or water-filled insoles, which will relieve pressure on the skin. You can also use insoles made from polymers which will act as shock absorbers and protect healing skin. Avoid shoes with pointed toes and those made of synthetic materials such as plastic.
In winter, feet should be kept warm, particularly if you have poor circulation in the legs and if your feet tend to be cold. In summer, a daily footbath is recommended