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26.10.2017 | Original Research | Ausgabe 4/2017 Open Access

Dermatology and Therapy 4/2017

Patients’ Perspectives on the Impact of Genital Psoriasis: A Qualitative Study

Dermatology and Therapy > Ausgabe 4/2017
Jennifer Clay Cather, Caitriona Ryan, Kim Meeuwis, Alison J. Potts Bleakman, April N. Naegeli, Emily Edson-Heredia, Jiat Ling Poon, Cate Jones, Ashley N. Wallace, Lyn Guenther, Scott Fretzin
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The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s13555-017-0204-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Plaque psoriasis is a chronic skin disease where genital involvement is relatively common. Yet health care providers do not routinely evaluate psoriasis patients for genital involvement and patients do not readily initiate discussion of it.


A qualitative study of 20 US patients with dermatologist-confirmed genital psoriasis (GenPs) and self-reported moderate-to-severe GenPs at screening was conducted to identify key GenPs symptoms and their impacts on health-related quality of life (HRQoL).


Patients had a mean age of 45 years, 55% were female, and patients had high rates of current/recent moderate-to-severe overall (65%) and genital (70%) psoriasis. Patients reported the following GenPs symptoms: genital itch (100%), discomfort (100%), redness (95%), stinging/burning (95%), pain (85%), and scaling (75%). Genital itching (40%) and stinging/burning (40%) were the most bothersome symptoms. Impacts on sexual health included impaired sexual experience during sexual activity (80%), worsening of symptoms after sexual activity (80%), decreased frequency of sexual activity (80%), avoidance of sexual relationships (75%), and reduced sexual desire (55%). Negative effects on sexual experience encompassed physical effects such as mechanical friction, cracking, and pain as well as psychosocial effects such as embarrassment and feeling stigmatized. Males reported a higher burden of symptoms and sexual impacts. Other HRQoL impacts were on mood/emotion (95%), physical activities (70%), daily activities (60%), and relationships with friends and family (45%). These impacts significantly affected daily activities. Physical activities were affected by symptoms and flares, and increased sweat and friction worsened symptoms. Patients reported daily practices to control outcomes.


The high level of reported symptoms and sexual and nonsexual impacts reflects the potential burden of moderate-to-severe GenPs. GenPs can impact many facets of HRQoL and providers should evaluate their patients for the presence of genital psoriasis and its impact on their quality of life.


Eli Lilly and Company.
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