This is ReachMD, and you’re listening to Psoriasis: What’s Beneath the Surface, sponsored by Lilly.
On this episode, Sexual Health Impacts of Psoriasis, we will hear from Dr. Matthew Keller, Associate Professor and Director of the Jefferson Psoriasis Center at Jefferson University.
Dr. Matthew Keller:
I think as far as sexual health goes, and especially when I think of sexual health in psoriasis patients, obviously we’re not thinking about sexually transmitted diseases and sort of things like this. It’s more the psychological and sometimes physical impact that psoriasis has on someone’s ability to be intimate with someone, ability to have sexual intercourse. And I think much of that is related upon where your psoriasis is, and I think there isn’t a patient with psoriasis in a location that doesn’t have some amount of impact. But, obviously, if you think about patients that get psoriasis, specifically men that develop psoriasis on their glans penis—because we know psoriasis comes to areas of trauma, and that’s obviously an area of trauma for a sexually active person—that has a huge impact because it’s obviously a lesion on someone’s genitals. It’s very obvious and noticeable. It’s made worse by sexual intercourse or masturbation, so it has a direct impact, and those activities give them a negative consequence. Not to mention if they are with a new partner or someone that they don’t know quite as well or who doesn’t know much about psoriasis.
Some people get very severe, what we call, inverse psoriasis, so it comes under the breast, in the armpits, in the groin, and that could be very painful and similar to hidradenitis suppurativa that is going to have an impact because it can be quite painful, it can be quite inflamed; and obviously, those patients are going to have difficulty with intimacy from the standpoint that it may be uncomfortable for them to have intercourse all of these things will have a major impact, again, on intimacy.
So I think that that alone, just knowing that you have psoriasis, even if someone can’t see it, it’s an impedance towards becoming intimate with someone or between sort of opening up because you’re afraid of how they’re going to react to it and what they’re going to think.
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