Up to 63% of people living with psoriasis experience genital psoriasis symptoms over the course of their lives. Genital psoriasis, like psoriasis on other parts of your skin, causes red patches (plaques) that may be itchy or painful. Depending on the location of psoriasis on the genitals, you may or may not have flaky, scaly skin. Like psoriasis on other parts of the body, genital psoriasis will flare-up and disappear off and on throughout your life. Many people experiencing genital psoriasis symptoms report that their symptoms impact their relationships and sexual health, leading to a decreased quality of life. You can take charge of your health by talking with your doctor about your genital psoriasis symptoms. It can be difficult and embarrassing to discuss such a sensitive topic, but your doctor has your best interests in mind and wants to help you manage your symptoms better. Talking about genital psoriasis with your dermatologist can be challenging, so make sure you prepare for the conversation to make it a positive experience. Starting the Conversation The first thing to keep in mind is that doctors deal with all sorts of sensitive medical issues. You may be embarrassed, ashamed, and stressed about bringing the topic up with your dermatologist, but he or she is trained to help people with skin problems anywhere on their bodies. Rest assured, busy dermatologists have seen it all before! Some studies suggest people living with genital psoriasis usually don’t report their symptoms to their doctors. And doctors usually don’t ask about or examine their patients for signs of genital psoriasis. Being upfront about your symptoms is the best first step in finding a treatment that effectively manages your condition. Your dermatologist wants to help—but there’s no way to do that without knowing about your symptoms. Clear, honest, and open communication is key to accurately diagnosing genital psoriasis and finding a treatment that works best for you. You may find it helpful to write down your concerns, the specific symptoms you have, and how long symptoms have bothered you before an appointment with your dermatologist. When you speak with your doctor, use whatever language is most comfortable for you when talking about genital psoriasis. Questions You Might Ask When you talk with your doctor, it can be helpful to have a prepared list of questions to help you better understand your condition and treatment options. You may want to ask your doctor specific questions, including: How can I relieve symptoms like itching or pain? How can I prevent further irritation of the skin involved in a flare-up? Should I use extra moisturizers on my genital skin? If so, what kind of moisturizers are best to use? What other treatment options are available to me? How will I know if my treatment is working? What should I do if my treatment doesn’t work? How can I talk to my partner about my condition so they understand what’s going on? There are many more questions you could ask your doctor, depending on your personal needs and situation. As you begin treatment, it’s important to keep in mind that you should let your doctor know as soon as possible if you aren’t seeing results. Your doctor may want to see you in the office for a check-up or may simply prescribe a different medication. Genital psoriasis can be tough to treat and trying different therapies before finding what works best for you is not uncommon. Talking about genital psoriasis with your dermatologist can be uncomfortable, but only for a brief moment. After that discussion it’s all about getting better! A candid conversation is the best way to find a treatment that helps manage your symptoms. Your dermatologist can’t help if he or she doesn’t realize you have a problem, so it’s best to be honest and open about your experience. Remember, your doctor is trained to help people with all types of sensitive medical issues—he or she has seen it all before.