PsoBest registry reveals: Genital psoriasis is often followed by sexual dysfunction

An analysis of 811 surveys shows nearly half of psoriasis patients have psoriatic lesions around the genital region and other areas of sexual interest.

Researchers included questions exploring generic and PsO-specific RSIs

According to the literature, the prevalence of genital psoriasis (GenPsO) or psoriasis (PsO) of ASI in individuals already diagnosed with PsO is found to be between 17%–64%. Dr Toni Klein (University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany) wished to further explore the prevalence of GenPsO and its impact on patients’ sexual life1

A cross-sectional survey was conducted by sending questionnaires by mail to a random sample of patients registered in the PsOBest registry (NCT01848028) in Germany. Included in the questionnaires were the Genital Psoriasis Symptom Scale (GPSS), which evaluates the severity of 8 GenPsO symptoms and the Genital Psoriasis Sexual Impact Scale (GPSIS), which assesses whether patients avoid sexual activity because of GenPsO and level of worsening of GenPsO symptoms following sexual activity. Moreover, the researchers included questions exploring both generic and PsO specific reasons for sexual impairment (RSI). 

Only a quarter of patients discussed having sexual impairment

From the 2,010 questionnaires that were sent out, the team received 811 (40.3%) and analysed 795 (39.6%). Of these, 41.9% were filled in by women, 51.6% by men, and 6.5% didn’t report their gender. The mean (SD) age at onset of PsO was 26.6 (14.9) years and the mean age (SD) for the onset of GenPsO was 35.0 (14.0) years, and for PsO at any ASI 34.1 (14.9) years. 

During the previous 24 months, 1/5 patients experienced GenPsO, whilst nearly half experienced PsO at any ASI. GenPsO and PsO at any ASI had a remarkable impact on sexual function: A majority of patients with GenPsO suffered from sexual impairment in the last 30 days and this led to 12.8% of patients avoiding sex altogether. Despite its high impact, only a quarter of these patients discussed having sexual impairment with their dermatologists. 

Dr Klein and his team concluded that dermatologists should be aware of the high prevalence of GenPsO. Therefore, genital areas shouldn’t be neglected when examining patients as psoriasis in this location impairs quality-of-life and often leads to sexual dysfunction.

  1. Klein TM, et al. Epidemiological Survey on the Prevalence of Genital Psoriasis and Its Impact on Patients' Sexual Life in Routine Care. E poster: P1564, Abstract No 1735, EADV Congress 2022, Milan, Italy, 7–10 September.