Psoriasis on your feet or something else?

Is it psoriasis on your feet or something else?  Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.  Psoriasis is a condition that is not often associated with feet in most peoples mind. But half of people with psoriasis will develop lesions on the foot. And of those, over 75% will see a more severe form of the disease that causes arthritis. You may be thinking, “But wait-I thought psoriasis was just a skin thing,” and you are right. Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition (where the immune system confuses your own healthy cells for intruders and attacks them) and causes dry dead skin to build up commonly on the elbows, scalp, and knees. These reddish patches are covered by silvery white crust. Psoriasis may also appear as pustular or fluid filled bumps.  Both these variants can be found on the foot.

However, the pustular form can be difficult to distinguish from athlete’s foot. Psoriasis can also mimic a fungal toenail infection. The slight difference is that while both conditions may cause thickening, psoriasis causes a pitting in the toe nails, like a sea of holes ranging in size.  If psoriasis is severe, it will move from the skin and into the joint causing painful arthritis. It alters the joint space of the toes and morphs the bone into a characteristic deformity that can be seen on x-ray. Another indication of this joint problem is a toe that is swollen up like a sausage.  There are several different medications that can help limit psoriasis including an over the counter anti-inflammatory. It is important to talk to your podiatrist if you see these signs and symptoms. Psoriasis can be easily confused with other conditions. It is important that you are on the right treatment plan.

The only way to know if you have psoriasis, athlete’s foot or toenail fungus is to have your condition examined and diagnosed by your podiatrist.

Dr. Mark Green will be able to do a thorough examination of your foot; take cultures of the involved area and provide a treatment plan that is right for you.  Kansas City Foot and Ankle has many convenient appointment times to meet your busy schedule.  Give us a call and come in today.