August is Psoriasis Action Month and Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care we want our patients to be aware of this disease and how it can affect your feet. The National Psoriasis Foundation estimates that more than 8 million Americans have psoriasis. Although most commonly recognized by a skin rash, the symptoms can go below the surface affecting the joints as well. Approximately 30% of patients with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis.
Skin and Toenails--There are several types of psoriasis which can manifest as different types of rashes and skin irritations. Regardless of type, however, psoriasis on your feet can have a larger impact than on other parts of your body due to the friction caused by footwear. Psoriasis can also occur in your toenails where it may also be accompanied by a fungal infection.
Joints--Again, because of the daily dependence we have on our toes, feet, and ankles to perform the most basic tasks, psoriatic arthritis in these areas can severely limit mobility and the ability to function normally. Dactylitis—the painful swelling of the toes and Enthesitis—the swelling of the connective tissue between ligaments, tendons, and bones are two conditions that can affect patients with psoriatic arthritis.
Treatment and Symptom Management
There are several different kinds of treatment options available for psoriasis. Your doctor will choose the best one for you based on several factors, including the severity and spread of the disease and the specific locations in your body that are being affected.
There are also “triggers”, which may cause psoriasis to flare up. These are not universal, however. Some may affect one person but not another. Some possible triggers to investigate are:
Some patients also believe that allergies, weather, and diet can trigger a flare-up.
If you have unexplained rashes, redness or blisters on your feet or toes or notice changes in your toenails, it’s important that you make an appointment at our Edison (732-204-6630), Monroe (732-204-6802) or Monmouth Junction (732-204-6945) office so that one our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral, and Dr. Nrupa Shah, can examine your feet. If the foot doctor suspects psoriasis, you may be referred for further testing. The podiatrist will be a key player in managing the symptoms of psoriasis in your feet and helping you keep the disease in check.