Suffering from psoriasis on hands? Learn what causes this painful skin condition and treatment options to keep flare-ups to a minimum.

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Psoriasis On Hands: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

06/15/20228 min read

If you have psoriasis, you may experience flare-ups on different parts of your body, including your hands. Psoriasis on your hands causes flaky, scaly, red, purple, or itchy skin and can affect daily life and activities, and even your confidence.

In this article, we’ll discuss the symptoms of psoriasis, its causes, and different treatment options so you can get back to living every day with comfort and confidence in your skin.

Table Of Contents

Symptoms Of Psoriasis On Hands

Woman with severe psoriasis on hands

As we mentioned, psoriasis can cause inflammation, itchiness, redness or purpleness, flakiness, scaliness, and discolored patches on your skin, among other symptoms. Most people who experience psoriasis will have flare-ups on different parts of the body.

The hands are a very common spot for symptoms to show up because they are often exposed to harsh weather, frequent washing, and contact injuries. Any irritation to the skin, such as cuts and burns, can lead to this type of irritation.

Hand psoriasis is often seen around the knuckle joints or fingernails. It can cause a change in your actual nails as well. For example, nail texture could be different, and you could see lighter spots growing out from the root and in your nail beds.

Other Skin Conditions

It’s important to note that there are a few different types of psoriasis, and this skin condition can present differently in everyone. Skin pigment can affect the appearance of psoriasis rashes, and not all flare-ups will progress to flaky or cracked skin.

If you think you have psoriasis but are unsure, speak to a doctor about your symptoms and treatment options. It’s often misdiagnosed and can be undertreated, leading to longer periods of flare-ups and depigmentation.

Below are a few of the other skin conditions that can often be mistaken for hand psoriasis.

Palmoplantar Psoriasis

Another type of psoriasis, called palmoplantar psoriasis (or PPP for short), is specifically found on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

This variant of psoriasis causes blister-like sores on these specific areas of the body and can be very painful and debilitating.

Because we use our hands and feet to perform everyday tasks, having PPP can severely impact quality of life. While traditional psoriasis on your hands can be uncomfortable and painful, the severity of symptoms should be lesser than those of PPP.

If you suspect you have this more severe type of psoriasis, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.


Eczema can be mistaken for psoriasis as well. Though similar to psoriasis, the itchy and flaky patches of skin caused by eczema are usually not as thick.

Eczema is also typically found in different locations, such as the crook of the elbow, versus the outside of joints. In addition, while sun can ease psoriasis symptoms, it can actually worsen eczema.

A qualified medical professional can help you determine what you’re dealing with before prescribing treatment options.

After you have confirmed that what you are experiencing is psoriasis on your hands, it’s time to assess what may have caused your flare-up and what treatment options you can try.

Man scratching psoriasis on hands

Causes Of Psoriasis On Hands

All types of psoriasis are caused by an autoimmune disorder, resulting in the altered lifespan and reproduction of skin cells in the body. It is not contagious and cannot be passed through physical contact.

Genetics can play a role in your susceptibility to psoriasis as well. If you have blood relatives with the condition, you are more likely to develop it. However, other causes of psoriasis include medications, infections, and other medical conditions.

Flare-Up Triggers

If you’re prone to psoriasis or have had it before, flare-ups can be triggered by a number of things, including:

  • Skin picking and injuries, such as scratches or cuts
  • Irritating clothing and gloves (e.g., coarse wool gloves)
  • Cold and dry weather
  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Sickness
  • Certain foods and inflammatory substances

Inflammatory foods that may worsen your psoriasis flare-ups include red meat, alcohol, foods that are high in sugar, highly processed foods, and known food allergies. Other substances, such as tobacco products, can also be inflammatory.

If you know (or suspect) you have a sensitivity to a food, try eliminating that food for a while. Common food allergens include wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, and fish, so those may be a great place to start.

Although factors such as genetics and sickness cannot be controlled, you may be able to avoid other triggers in your environment. Managing things like sleep habits and stress can make a great difference in your psoriasis symptoms.

Note: As you’re identifying your personal triggers, take it slow. Eliminate or change one thing at a time so that you know exactly what causes your skin to react. You’ll be grateful for the information in the long run!

Man applying ointment to psoriasis on hands

Treatments For Psoriasis On Hands

Avoiding flare-up triggers can help keep psoriasis at bay. Choosing soft clothing material, moisturizing well after bathing or washing your hands, and avoiding inflammatory foods are some simple options to help prevent skin irritation.

Other options include reducing or relieving stress by exercising, following a simple and consistent daily routine, self-care practices, meditation, and socialization.

Although avoiding triggers is half the battle with psoriasis, when a flare-up does occur, there are many options for treatment. These can range from lifestyle changes to natural topical treatments and can include medical treatments when needed.

Hand Bath

A hand bath can gently ease the acute symptoms of psoriasis on your hands. Simply put oatmeal, bath oil, or Epsom salt and warm water in a bowl, stir it up, and soak your hands for some much-needed relief.

Note: Do not soak your hands for more than 15 minutes a day, as too much hot water exposure can actually remove moisture from the skin.

Pat your hands partially dry, and then use a moisturizer immediately after to prevent dryness and irritation. Fragrance-free moisturizers can create a healthy barrier on your skin, promote healing, and minimize further contact irritation.

UV Light

UV light treatment can improve your symptoms, too, as ultraviolet rays naturally slow down the reproduction of skin cells. Sun exposure is a great way to naturally reduce psoriasis flare-ups, though too much sun can worsen your condition.

While it can be tricky to find the right balance of sunlight exposure, a healthy amount of vitamin D and UVB rays may be just the trick to ease your symptoms and prevent further flares.

Topical Creams

Bodewell Psoriasis Calming Cream, a relieving and fragrance-free cream specifically formulated to treat psoriasis, is recognized by the National Psoriasis Foundation.

This cream uses a blend of salicylic acid and botanicals to relieve redness, itching, flaking, scaling, and irritation associated with psoriasis. In addition to on-the-spot treatment, our calming cream is designed to help improve the appearance of your skin over time with regular use.

Apply the cream one to four times a day or as directed by your doctor for best results.

Medical-Grade Options

If you have tried natural remedies and prevention methods to no avail, it might be time to talk to your doctor about more serious medical treatment for the psoriasis on your hands. It is best to treat psoriasis early to prevent scarring and dyspigmentation.

Medical treatments, such as steroid creams, injections, and pills can be used in more severe cases. But make sure to consult a doctor before and during use of these treatments, as misuse can greatly worsen psoriasis symptoms or cause other skin disorders, like perioral dermatitis.

Clearer Days Ahead

Woman clutching hands to her chest

Psoriasis on your hands can affect your day-to-day life as well as your self-confidence. While it can seem impossible to combat, have hope in the fact that there are many new treatments available.

By avoiding triggers, eliminating inflammatory foods, and applying topical creams, like our Psoriasis Calming Cream, you can find what works for your skin. While it may take some time and patience, it is possible to get your psoriasis under control!

At Bodewell, we are by your side and create products and treatments to get you back to the comfortable and vibrant life you deserve. Better skin days are possible!

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