What You Should Know About Psoriasis in and Around the Ears
Psoriasis in and around the ears is a common skin condition. It affects millions of people worldwide. People with psoriasis often have difficulty hearing or even seeing well enough to see their surroundings clearly.
Some are completely blind while others lose all vision altogether due to damage to the optic nerve from the eye itself.
The most common type of psoriasis in and around the ears is called erythema migrans (EM). It’s characterized by red, itchy patches of skin appearing at the back of your head, neck, chest and shoulders. These patches may appear anywhere on your body but they’re usually centered on your scalp.
They may also appear along the hairline and on other parts of your body such as elbows or knees.
While EM is the most common form of psoriasis in and around the ears, there are several other types. For example:
Dermatophytosis involves small red bumps that appear on your face, arms or legs. Dermatomyositis causes large red spots to develop on your hands and feet. Psoriatic arthritis causes painful rashes to cover your whole body.
With proper treatment, you can manage your condition and prevent these from developing. It is important to see your doctor immediately if you notice any of the above conditions manifesting on your body.
Once erythema migrans has settled in, it can be difficult to treat effectively. In many cases, dermatologists will give you a variety of different lotions and medicines. These include steroids, retinoids, immunosuppressants and even anti-infective medicines.
If you have an effective health insurance policy, these medicines should be free of charge. However, you may be required to pay a small co-pay if you want a brand name medication rather than a generic equivalent. You may also be required to make an upfront payment for the cost of the medicine before your insurance company begins to reimburse you.
It is also important to follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. This will often involve applying a particular cream or ointment directly to the affected area twice daily for at least two weeks.
While this may seem inconvenient, there are certain ways in which you can make this process easier for yourself. You should first of all wash your hands and then soak the affected area in warm water for a few minutes to soften the skin and improve your ability to rub in the medication.
You should then dry the area using a clean towel. You should also try to avoid using soaps, perfumed lotions or other skincare products on the affected area as these may interfere with the action of the treatment.
You should also apply just enough to cover the affected area and then gently rub it into the skin in a circular motion. You should do this until you have used all of the medicine.
Some people find it helpful to apply the medicine after a hot shower as this opens up your pores and increases your body’s ability to absorb the medication. You should also wash your hands immediately after applying the treatment as the medication can have a negative effect on unprotected skin.
In many cases, patients begin to see an improvement in their condition within two weeks. Your doctor or dermatologist will want to see you again after four weeks to assess your condition and change your medication if necessary.
Sources & references used in this article:
Patch testing: what allergists should know by JML White – Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2012 – Wiley Online Library
Gadolinium accumulation after contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging: what rheumatologists should know by ALP Abrão, CM Santana, ACB Bezerra… – Revista brasileira de …, 2016 – SciELO Brasil
Two ear problems you may not need to refer: otitis externa and bullous myringitis by FM Doniselli, D Albano, V Chianca, MA Cimmino… – 2017 – Springer