When you have psoriasis on your face, you know the embarrassment it can cause. Learn more about this condition, its causes, and possible treatment options.

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Psoriasis On The Face: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

06/25/20228 min read

Anytime you're dealing with psoriasis, it can impact your confidence and self-esteem. But when the scaly patches show up on your face, it can be incredibly challenging. Psoriasis on the face makes it difficult to try to hide your condition.

The good news is that facial psoriasis doesn't have to control your life. Treatment options exist that can help manage your symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about this condition, what causes it, and what you can do to try to find some relief.

Table Of Contents

What Is Psoriasis?

Woman scratching psoriasis patches on her elbows

Before diving into the details of facial psoriasis, let's take a step back and review what psoriasis is. Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes the overproduction of skin cells.

There are several types of psoriasis, but the most common form is plaque psoriasis. With this type, raised red patches, covered with a build-up of dead skin cells, can appear on your body. Patients often describe these patches as being flaky and dry.

While psoriasis can occur anywhere on the body, it most commonly appears on the scalp, knees, and elbows. But it can also manifest on your face. You might see patches on your eyebrows, upper forehead, and between your nose and mouth.

However, it’s rare for someone to have only facial psoriasis. Typically, this occurs when you’re also dealing with psoriasis on your scalp.

Symptoms Of Psoriasis On The Face

The most common symptom of psoriasis on the face is a red, scaly rash. The rash can be itchy and painful and may bleed if you scratch or pick it. Occasionally, you'll notice silvery-white scales on the red patches.

If your psoriasis occurs near your eyes, you might also notice your eyelids become red and crusty. It can also lead to dry eyes and cause trouble with your vision.

Some people have psoriasis inside their mouths, which makes it difficult to chew food. Eating can be excruciating if you have lesions on your tongue or cheeks.

Psoriasis on the face can also cause other symptoms, such as sensitive skin and general soreness.

Causes Of Facial Psoriasis

While the exact cause of facial psoriasis is often unknown, experts believe genetics, inflammation, and skin injuries can all play a part in the condition starting.

Genetics

Parents often pass down psoriasis to their children. If you have a family member with the condition, you're more likely to develop it at some point in your life.

Scientists think the genes involved with this condition are connected to your immune system. These genes are responsible for overactive skin cell production, a hallmark symptom of psoriasis.

Inflammation

Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition. When you have psoriasis, your immune system mistakenly thinks skin cells are harmful invaders. So, it releases chemicals that tell the body to produce more skin cells.

Unfortunately, if you have excessive inflammation in your body, it can lead to psoriasis.

Skin Trauma Or Injury

Sometimes, an injury to your skin can trigger psoriasis on your face. When this happens, it’s known as the Koebner phenomenon.

The injury doesn't have to be significant or noticeable. Even a minor cut, scratch, or scrape can lead to the development of psoriasis lesions.

Since skin injuries can also worsen existing cases of psoriasis, it's important to avoid injuring your skin. This includes picking at scabs or scratching dry, flaky patches.

Common Triggers Of Psoriasis On The Face

Woman smiling in the sunlight

Certain things can trigger a psoriasis flare-up on your face or any other body part. While triggers vary from person to person, here are some of the most common:

  • Smoking: The chemicals in cigarettes can worsen psoriasis symptoms. If you smoke and have this condition, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your skin.
  • Stress: When you’re stressed, your body's immune system is more likely to be in overdrive.
  • UV radiation exposure: Getting too much sun can also make your skin dry and increase symptoms.
  • Dry weather: When it’s cold and dry outside, your skin can become dry and flaky and cause your symptoms to worsen.

Treating Psoriasis On Your Face

Woman smiling in the sunlight

While there isn't a cure for psoriasis, many treatments are available. The best remedy for you depends on the severity of your symptoms and how your body responds.

Because everyone is different, there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. A dermatologist can help you evaluate your condition and recommend personalized treatment options.

Calming And Moisturizing Products

If you have mild psoriasis on your face, you may be able to treat it with calming or moisturizing products. These include lotions, creams, and ointments that you can apply to your skin.

You'll want to look for products containing ingredients that improve psoriasis. These include:

Salicylic Acid

This ingredient can help reduce inflammation and loosen dry, scaly skin. It's available in various OTC products, including soaps, shampoos, creams, and gels.

For example, our popular Psoriasis Calming Cream botanical formula contains salicylic acid to help relieve symptoms. Many customers have found this helpful in relieving itching and reducing the urge to scratch.

Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3. It can help reduce inflammation and redness on your skin, and formulations with Niacinamide help moisturize and improve the skin barrier.

Home Remedies

Several home remedies can help improve your psoriasis symptoms. You may need to experiment with them and see what works best for you.

Some people have seen improvement by making dietary changes. This includes ensuring you get enough omega-3 fatty acids and avoiding inflammatory foods like gluten.

You can also try applying a variety of natural substances to your skin, including aloe vera, avocado oil, coconut oil, and vitamin D.

It's important to note that while home remedies can help, they may not be enough to treat your symptoms on their own. So if you don’t notice any improvement, you should see a dermatologist

Topical Corticosteroids

Person squeezing topical corticosteroids onto their finger from a tube

Doctors often recommend topical corticosteroids for treating psoriasis on the face. This ingredient comes in various forms, including creams, gels, lotions, and ointments.

Corticosteroids help reduce inflammation and can improve your symptoms within a few weeks. However, they’re not a cure; if you stop using the medication, your symptoms may come back.

Topical corticosteroids are available in different strengths. You can purchase some on your own, over the counter. However, you may need more potent prescription-strength corticosteroids if your symptoms are severe.

Since there may be side effects associated with these products, it's essential you only use them as directed.

Prescription Medications

If OTC treatments don't improve your symptoms, you may need something stronger. A dermatologist can prescribe more potent medications.

These include:

  • Retinoids, such as tazarotene gel
  • Pimecrolimus (Elidel)
  • Crisaborole (Eucrisa)

Biologics

You can also try treating psoriasis on your face from the inside out. Many dermatologists see improvement with the use of biologics. These medications help reduce inflammation by targeting your immune system.

Biologics are given as an injection or through an IV. They work by blocking the proteins that cause inflammation. This can help improve your symptoms and prevent future flare-ups.

Lifestyle Changes

A woman meditating to reduce stress levels

By avoiding triggers, you can help keep your psoriasis under control. If you can identify what makes your symptoms get worse, you can take steps to prevent exposure to those things.

Here are a few lifestyle changes that have helped others find relief:

  • Stay moisturized: Dry skin can make your psoriasis worse. Keep your skin hydrated by using a daily moisturizer.
  • Reduce stress: As we mentioned, when you're feeling stressed, your skin can suffer. Try relaxation techniques, yoga, or meditation to help reduce your stress levels.
  • Use gentle cleansers: Some ingredients can lead to psoriasis flare-ups. Try products with mild cleansers, like our Sensitive Skin Moisturizing Body Wash and Dry Scalp Daily Shampoo.
  • Apply sunscreen: As mentioned earlier, UV rays trigger symptoms in some people. So always apply sunscreen if you’re going to be in the sun for long.

In addition to these changes, it may help to seek emotional help. Psoriasis on your face can lead to feelings of social isolation or other psychological issues.

If you feel like your psoriasis is controlling your life, don’t hesitate to speak to a counselor who can help you realize that you’re more than your condition.

Overcoming Psoriasis On Your Face

Man with psoriasis on his face

Psoriasis on the face is visible and hard to hide. The good news is that many different treatment options are out there. However, you may need to try a few before finding what works best for you.

In the meantime, be sure to give our Psoriasis Calming Cream or Psoriasis Soothing Spray a try (just be sure not to use the spray near your eyes). Our unique formulas won’t leave you feeling greasy, so you can apply them throughout the day to help relieve your itchiness.

More good skin days are in your future!

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