Having psoriasis can mean that you’re constantly applying lotion, hiding your flare-ups, and searching for the next and best remedy.

Having psoriasis on your hands can be more difficult because your hands are constantly on display and in use. The psoriasis patches may also crack and bleed from washing or using your hands.

Fortunately, there are ways that you can improve your condition. Learn more about home care and the causes of hand psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a skin condition caused by an autoimmune issue. It causes pain, swelling, redness and scaly skin.

Psoriasis appears as thick patches of skin with scales. The skin underneath is usually red and irritated. Some people with psoriasis also have arthritis, which is called psoriatic arthritis.

Psoriasis affects 2 to 3 percent of the population of the United States.

Here are some of the types of psoriasis:

  • Plaque psoriasis. This is the most common type and often appears on knees, scalp, elbows, and lower back.
  • Guttate psoriasis. Guttate psoriasis usually affects the torso and limbs. It manifests in small spots.
  • Inverse psoriasis. Shiny lesions appear in the places where skin folds, such as under the breasts and armpits and between the legs.
  • Pustular psoriasis. This form isn’t as common as the others. It produces pus-filled sores.
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis. This is a rare form of psoriasis and affects most of the body with burnlike rashes.

Yes, psoriasis can make an appearance on any part of your skin, including your hands and fingers. It can manifest as cracking, swelling, or blistering.

However, psoriasis is not spread by touch. And it's not contagious.

If a psoriasis outbreak on one part of your body, such as your knee, touches an area of your body that’s psoriasis-free, such as your finger, your finger will not get psoriasis from that contact.

You also can’t get psoriasis from or give psoriasis to another person.

Palmar and plantar psoriasis affects only the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. If you’re experiencing psoriasis symptoms on your palms, you may have this form of psoriasis.

This can be accompanied by pus-filled bumps on your hands. Treatment for this includes aggressive use of topical corticosteroids.

Psoriasis of the hand is caused by white blood cells called T cells that help protect the body from disease. These cells are triggered within the body by mistake in the hands.

The increased activity of the T cells shortens the lifespan of the skin cells in your hand. This, in turn, causes a faster turnover of the cells, leading to skin buildup and swelling.

Hand psoriasis can make certain daily tasks like washing dishes difficult, because the skin is prone to cracking or bleeding.

If you’re a health care provider, nurse, or a food service provider, you may be more susceptible to bouts of hand psoriasis as you’re frequently washing and drying your hands.

Certain environmental factors can make your symptoms worse, including:

  • stress
  • weather changes
  • medicines
  • dry air
  • excess sunlight or too little sunlight
  • infections

Psoriasis is a chronic condition. Therefore, treatment is designed to control your symptoms, but it won’t to cure the condition. Treatments can be topical, in pill form, injections, and UV therapy.

Topical treatments are most popular and can include:

  • lactic acid
  • anti-inflammatory ointment
  • moisturizers
  • ointments or creams containing vitamins A or D

While psoriasis is a chronic condition, there are a few things that you can do at home to help treat it and prevent hand psoriasis flare-ups.

  • Keep your hands clean, but don’t scrub them too harshly.
  • Wash your hands with warm water instead of hot.
  • Use hand soap that moisturizes your skin.
  • Take note of and avoid the things that seem to cause flare-ups.
  • Get ample sunlight, but be careful not to get sunburned.
  • Apply lotion after washing dishes or performing tasks with your hands.

Psoriasis on the hands or other parts of the body is a chronic condition. A skin care regimen can help you manage it. If not managed, the psoriasis patches on your hands may cause skin to crack or bleed.

If you’re continuing to experience psoriasis symptoms despite treatment, contact your doctor.

If you have joint pain or fever as well as psoriasis, discuss your symptoms with your doctor as you may be developing psoriatic arthritis.