You can get psoriasis on any part of the body, including behind your knees. Treatment depends on the type you have.

Psoriasis is a condition where the body’s immune system causes skin cells to rapidly increase. This often turns into raised patches of skin that may be painful and itchy.

About 3% of U.S. adults have this condition. That’s more than 7.5 million people.

It’s possible to get psoriasis on any part of your body. Treatment for psoriasis behind the knees depends on the kind of psoriasis you have and the severity of your symptoms.

There are many types of psoriasis, but some are more common behind the knee.

Plaque psoriasis in the back of knees

Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis and can affect the knees. The skin may be raised, inflamed, and scaly behind the knee.

Plaque psoriasis is often symmetrical, which means it appears in the same place on both sides of the body. You might have a patch of raised, itchy skin behind both knees.

Inverse psoriasis behind knees

Inverse psoriasis occurs in skin folds, like armpits, under breasts, and in the back of the knee. Affected skin will appear smooth and red, purple, or brown, depending on your skin tone. It may occur in the back of just one knee, or of both.

Guttate psoriasis behind the knees

Guttate psoriasis usually develops after an infection. It’s more common in children, people 20 to 30 years old, and between people 50 and 60 years old.

If you have guttate psoriasis behind the knee, you may notice small bumps on the skin.

Your symptoms may depend on the kind of psoriasis you have. Some common symptoms include:

  • Raised and scaly patches of skin: The patches may be painful and itchy. On lighter skin tones, the patches may be red with whitish scales on top. On darker skin tones, patches may be purple or dark brown with gray scales.
  • Smooth area of skin: The skin may appear as distinct areas with defined borders. It may be macerated or moist. Depending on your skin tone, the area may be red, purple, brown, or darker than the surrounding skin.
  • Small round spots on the skin: These are often raised and may or may not have scales.
  • Dry or cracked skin: The area may itch or bleed.

Psoriasis is the result of an overactive immune system. Many people with psoriasis have a family history of the condition.

While genetics may make psoriasis more likely to occur, environmental factors also play a role, in particular with specific subtypes of the condition.

For example, guttate psoriasis often happens because of one of these triggers:

Inverse psoriasis may also develop from the same triggers above. The use of alcohol or tobacco can also trigger the condition.

Inverse psoriasis can be made worse by sweating in the back of the knee area, or when the skin areas on the back of the leg rub together.

Some home remedies may reduce some symptoms of psoriasis behind the knee. A primary care doctor or dermatologist can also prescribe medical treatment.

At-home treatments

  • Reduce and manage stress through meditation, walking, or other calming activities.
  • Bathe with a natural cleanser.
  • Try soaking the affected skin in whole milk.
  • Add table salt to a bath to gently remove scales.

Over-the-counter treatments

Medical treatments

If home remedies or over-the-counter treatments aren’t working for your psoriasis, a doctor may offer medical treatment options like:

  • topical corticosteroids
  • topical nonsteroidal creams, such as anthralin, vitamin A, or vitamin D
  • phototherapy using ultraviolet light B (UVB) or psoralens and ultraviolet light A (PUVA)
  • systemic medications, like methotrexate
  • biologic medications, like Enbrel and Humira

Other causes that can cause itchy skin or a rash behind the knees include:

Consider speaking with a doctor whenever you want professional help with changes in your skin, especially if:

  • you have symptoms of psoriasis behind the knee but don’t have a diagnosis
  • you know you have psoriasis but home treatments aren’t working
  • you have had side effects from previous psoriasis treatment
  • prescription medications aren’t improving your symptoms

It’s possible to get psoriasis behind your knees.

Plaque psoriasis is often symmetrical, so it may appear as raised, scaly patches behind both knees. Guttate psoriasis may look like tiny raised bumps and occur after an infection. Inverse psoriasis appears as smooth red, purple, or brown patches, depending on skin tone, where the back skin of the leg touches.

Home treatments may help soothe knee psoriasis, and a doctor can prescribe medical treatment if necessary.