Does Psoriasis Have A Smell?

Does Psoriasis Have A Smell?

Psoriasis can cause many problems for sufferers. But does it have an odour? In this blog, we investigate the relationship between psoriasis and smell.

Psoriasis is a long-lasting autoimmune condition that manifests on the skin, although it starts inside the body. In a psoriasis sufferer, the process that causes skin cells to be produced is rapidly sped up, taking only a few days instead of the usual 21-28 day cycle. The resulting excess cell build up leads to raised, inflamed patches of skin, often covered in very dry scales or plaques. Psoriasis is a genetic condition that can be triggered by external factors and it is not contagious. 

Psoriasis can occur in many different parts of the body, including in sensitive or ‘flexural’ areas that are generally covered by clothes, such as: 

  • areas where skin is folded over
  • under the breasts
  • in the armpits 
  • on the genitals
  • in between the buttocks

Psoriasis in these areas is often referred to as ‘inverse psoriasis’. Inverse psoriasis isn’t covered with scales, neither does it present as very dry as it does in other types of psoriasis. Instead, patches appear as flushed on Caucasian skin or a different tone in the skin of people of colour. In both cases, they tend to be darker and more shiny. 

All types of psoriasis, including inverse psoriasis, do not cause the skin to smell. 

If you have some of the symptoms of psoriasis and notice a strong odour, it could be down to something else. 

Inverse psoriasis is similar in appearance to the skin condition intertrigo. Unlike psoriasis, intertrigo is caused by an infection that arises from a bacterial, fungal or yeast infection when moist skin rubs together. 

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between inverse psoriasis and intertrigo, because both appear in the same places, especially where skin folds over in areas such as the breasts, buttocks, groin and armpits.

If the skin starts to crack and bleed and is accompanied by a foul smell, then the likelihood is that it is intertrigo and it will respond to anti-fungal treatment. 

For both conditions, it’s important to keep affected areas dry and clean, minimising friction and exposing skin to the air so it can ‘breathe’. 

The Psoriasis Association has a great leaflet with tips on how to manage psoriasis in sensitive areas

Recommended products for skin prone to psoriasis:

Bath & Body Oil
our beautiful bath and body oil is made from a blend of nutritious botanicals and is suitable for use anywhere on the body, for all skin types and all ages from 6 weeks

Balmonds Scalp Oil
an intensive moisturising treatment, especially beneficial for psoriasis on the scalp, but suitable for use anywhere on the body, including in folds of skin. Packed full of naturally anti-itch, antiseptic, antibacterial essential oils such as tea tree, borage and rosemary, it is a great topical rescue oil for all kinds of skin emergencies

Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash
our two-in-one natural shampoo and body wash is a mild, unperfumed, soap and SLS-free, all-purpose cleanser for hair and body


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