Features of the development and symptoms of psoriasis affecting the elbows

Psoriasis with the main changes located in the elbow region occurs in approximately 5% of patients with this disease. The formation of psoriatic lesions on the elbows is possible at any age, but according to statistics, this form of the disease is characteristic mainly of the elderly.In most cases, the pathology can be successfully treated with timely consultation with a doctor, but in advanced cases it can be complicated by psoriatic arthritis.

The area of ​​the elbow joints affected by psoriasis

Causes and symptoms

Elbow psoriasis has the same etiological causes of development as other forms of the disease. These are heredity, metabolic disorders, endocrine disruptions, decreased functioning of the immune system, mechanical damage to the skin and traumatic situations. The triggering factor for the appearance of psoriatic lesions in the elbow region is considered to be dyshidrosis - chronic dehydration of the skin.

The disease begins with the appearance of one or more reddish spots that protrude slightly above the skin. At first they are red, then they are covered with a whitish film and gradually a layer of scales forms on their surface, which gives the plates a silvery color.

In addition to these changes, elbow psoriasis can be identified by the following symptoms:

  • The resulting individual spots merge over time, which leads to the appearance of large lesions;
  • The scales are easily removed from the surface, leaving a thin skin where drops of blood may appear;
  • The formation of pustules is characterized by the appearance of a well-defined red border separating healthy skin from the affected tissue;
  • The appearance of rashes is accompanied by intense itching in 80% of cases;
  • The regression, that is, the disappearance of the plaque begins from the center, and in its place, after the process has subsided, a point of light remains.
Manifestations of the initial stage of elbow psoriasis

In mild cases, the pathology disappears within one and a half to two months. In advanced cases, the spots may not disappear completely - during the remission phase, one or more small plaques remain on the skin.

If left untreated, elbow psoriasis can cause psoriatic arthritis, an inflammation of the joints. A complication is indicated by swelling and swelling in the area of the affected joint, a local increase in temperature and pain during movements.

Features of elbow psoriasis

Psoriasis on the elbows has certain features of development and course, including:

  1. Age at onset of the disease. Mainly elderly people consult a doctor with this form of the disease, in children and adolescents damage in this area is rare;
  2. Only in 30% of cases is the symmetry of the lesion determined - plaques form on the right and left elbow. In other cases, the inflammation only covers the elbow area;
  3. Psoriatic lesions in psoriasis, unlike eczema and dermatitis, are localized only on the external extensor side of the joint;
  4. The disease is characterized by seasonality - most often exacerbations occur in the cold months of the year, that is, when the skin is most dehydrated;
  5. The rash can be dry or wet;
  6. Lesions spread predominantly to the forearm;
  7. Over time, elbow psoriasis causes thickening of the skin in the affected area. The skin becomes dense, dry and quickly cracks, which is accompanied by the appearance of blood, pain and itching.

Elbow psoriasis must be treated and this must be done under the supervision of a dermatologist. Lack of therapy makes it impossible to completely remove all changes in the affected area, which causes internal discomfort and can lead to depression.

Treatment methods for elbow psoriasis

The use of ointments will help eliminate psoriasis on the elbows

Treatment of psoriasis on the elbows should be comprehensive. It includes the use of external agents, systemic medications, physical therapy and traditional therapy methods.


At the initial stage of the disease, when only a few small plaques are formed and in the absence of pronounced swelling and redness, ointments can be used that have a softening, anti-inflammatory effect and can soften the keratinized outer layer of the spots.

In severe cases, that is, when swelling, itching, hyperemia are pronounced and the spots tend to increase rapidly, therapy begins with the use of glucocorticosteroid ointments.

Any of the above ointments for psoriasis on the elbows must be prescribed by a doctor. They are used in a short course, observing the frequency of application and dosage. Failure to follow the instructions for using hormonal medications greatly increases the likelihood of developing local and systemic adverse reactions.

Patients with elbow psoriasis are recommended to use ointments with emollient components and vitamins even during exacerbations of the disease. Its constant application nourishes the skin, prevents dehydration, thus prolonging periods of remission.

Drug therapy

For frequent recurrences of elbow psoriasis, oral medications are prescribed

Medicines are selected for the patient depending on the symptoms of the disease, its severity and concomitant diseases. Medications are prescribed mainly if psoriatic changes continue to progress, with frequent relapses.

Standard oral therapy:

  1. Antihistamines.The main purpose of prescribing antihistamines is to reduce itching, which accelerates the healing process of plaques and prevents the penetration of microbes into the damaged epidermis;
  2. Medicines with sedative effects– tinctures of valerian, motherwort. Its use helps reduce nervousness, improves sleep quality and prevents the development of depression;
  3. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.Medicines from this group relieve inflammation and pain well, promote skin regeneration;
  4. Vitamin therapy.The use of vitamins increases the body's protective properties and improves metabolic processes.

All medications prescribed by your doctor must be taken in full.A decrease in exanthematous lesions does not indicate that therapy should be completed, otherwise the disease may again enter a progressive stage.


The main treatment for elbow psoriasis can be supplemented with physical therapy. They are prescribed to improve blood circulation and metabolic reactions in the skin, their use helps to improve local immunity and accelerate the restoration of normal epidermis. For psoriasis, procedures such as magnetic therapy, phototherapy, PUVA method, laser treatment and irradiation of the skin with ultraviolet rays show good results.

Patients with elbow psoriasis receive sanatorium treatment, diet therapy and normalization of the nervous system.

Eliminating psoriasis using traditional methods

Healing herbs for psoriasis folk therapy on elbows

Treatment of inflamed skin on the elbows at home using folk methods can be carried out after the acute process has subsided. The effectiveness of self-prepared ointments and tinctures for compresses, herbal mixtures for internal use and medicinal baths has been proven. All means of traditional therapy should be used, taking into account the tolerability of the constituent components.

  • Baths for treating elbows.Chamomile, sage, celandine herb and string must be mixed in equal proportions. Two or three tablespoons of the mixture are poured with boiling water in a ratio of 1: 10. The mixture is infused for half an hour, after which you can dip your elbows into the medicinal solution. The duration of the procedure is until the infusion cools completely;
  • Therapeutic bath.The shells of 10 nuts are brewed with a liter of boiling water, after an hour the infusion is filtered and placed in a water bath. It is necessary to lie in the medicinal bath for 20-30 minutes, repeat daily for at least 5 days;
  • Garlic compress.A few small cloves from a head of garlic are ground and placed in a glass of hot water. It is necessary to infuse the garlic solution for an hour and a half, then dip a bandage folded in several layers into it, squeeze it slightly and apply it to the elbow area. The compress changes as the gauze dries, it is advisable to carry out the procedure within an hour;
  • Birch tar.You will need purified birch tar; apply it to the area with plaques. The first procedure should last no more than 8 to 10 minutes, with each subsequent day its time increases. The course of tar treatment is 14 days. You can wash tar from your elbows with laundry soap;
  • Phytocompress.10 grams of dry grape leaves, 10 grams of burdock root and 10 grams of flax seeds must be ground in a blender. The prepared mixture is poured into a glass of hot milk and heated over low heat for 2-3 minutes. After cooling in the liquid, moisten a gauze napkin and apply it to your elbows. Keep the compress for half an hour.

Psoriasis on the elbows causes a lot of inconvenience, but this form of the disease is considered one of the mildest. Timely consultation with a doctor, changes in lifestyle and diet, and adherence to preventive measures can completely cleanse the skin of the elbow joint and significantly extend the periods of remission of the disease.