If you have facial psoriasis, it’s a good idea to be careful about which face products you use.
Psoriasis can be uncomfortable, stressful, and embarrassing–and even more so if it affects your face. The trademark thick, red, scaly patches caused by this autoimmune disease usually occur on the knees, elbows, and lower back; but psoriasis plaques can appear on more visible and sensitive areas, too, like around the eyes, ears, and nose.
More than 7 million people have psoriasis in the United States, but luckily facial psoriasis isn’t that common in people with mild cases of the disease, says Alan Menter, MD, chair of dermatology and research at Baylor University. People with mild psoriasis might notice flaking on the scalp, hairline, and ears, while more moderate psoriasis might include plaques around the eyebrows or the sides of the nose. “Psoriasis would have to be very severe to have patches on the cheeks,” he says. (But hey, it happened to Kim Kardashian!)
Typically, Dr. Menter explains, facial psoriasis plaques aren’t as thick, red, or scaly as plaques elsewhere on the body. That allows doctors to treat sensitive facial skin with less potent versions of the steroid creams typically used to alleviate psoriasis symptoms, explains Paul S. Yamauchi, MD, PhD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Still, those steroid creams can leave the skin on your face feeling parched. And you need to pick moisturizers and other soothing products wisely. For example, abrasive cleansers or harsh peels are definitely out: “You have to be much more gentle when treating facial psoriasis,” Dr. Menter says. “You mustn’t scrub it or pick it.”
In some people, what appears to be psoriasis on the face is actually something called seborrheic dermatitis. It can also cause red or white crusty, scale-like lesions, but it’s not an autoimmune disease, so it’s easier to treat, explains dermatologist and YouTube vlogger Dr. Dray.
If it’s really facial psoriasis, you probably have very similar-looking scaly patches on other areas of your body. If it’s seborrheic dermatitis, you won’t have signs of psoriasis elsewhere. However, because the inflammation caused by seborrheic dermatitis can be similar to facial psoriasis, some face products can be effective for both, Dr. Dray adds.
|Read on: The Best Face Products for People With Psoriasis, According to Dermatologists – Health|