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Lip Psoriasis: What is it?

Lip Psoriasis: What is it?

Psoriasis is a chronic and inflammatory skin disease that can affect various parts of the body, including the lips. This form of psoriasis is characterized by the presence of red, inflamed lips covered with scales. These scales can cause itching and be a source of discomfort. Let's delve deeper into lip psoriasis.

Summary
Published February 20, 2024, by Manon, Scientific Editor — 3 min read

Lip Psoriasis: What is it?

The psoriasis is a skin disease. It is characterized by the appearance of patches and scales on the skin. Psoriasis is a fairly common disease, affecting approximately 3% of the global population.

The lymphocytes (white blood cells) in the epidermis are present in high numbers and promote the production of inflammatory cells. These, in turn, stimulate the proliferation of keratinocytes. The renewal period of these cells, normally three weeks, is then reduced to three days. The result is an accumulation of immature keratinocytes on the skin's surface, increasing the thickness of the outer layer (the cornea). This is referred to as hyperkeratosis.

Psoriasis is a hereditary disease. Indeed, at least 30% of psoriasis cases correspond to family forms (presence of family history) involving a genetic predisposition. It can affect any area of the body, from the ears to the tongue, including the genital areas. However, the scaly patches are usually located on the scalp, elbows and knees but they can also affect the corners of the lips.

What are the symptoms of lip psoriasis?

The characteristic symptoms of lip psoriasis are red, inflamed lips covered with dry, thick, and scaly skin. The plaques can be painful and are prone to itching. The intensity of this itching can vary from person to person. In all cases, the itching associated with psoriasis leads sufferers to scratch quite often. Additionally, the plaques can cause cracks or bleeding on the lips. In some cases, this form of psoriasis can also extend to neighboring areas, such as the corners of the mouth.

Psoriasis causes the appearance of micro-lesions on the plaques. These worsen progressively as you scratch. The micro-lesions are typically painful. Moreover, the pain is intensified when the lesions come into contact with an acidic element such as sweat. If you suffer from lip psoriasis, it is advised against consuming acidic foods and liquids such as lemon derivatives or other citrus fruits. Indeed, an acidic compound may disrupt the skin barrier and cause further irritations.

Sources

BAZ K. & al. Isolated lip involvement in psoriasis. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology (2007).

SAURAT J. & al. Psoriasis. Dermatologie et infections sexuellement transmissibles (2016).

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