How Does Psoriasis on Lips Look?

Psoriasis on the lips is very rare—here’s what you should know

Table of Contents
View All
Table of Contents

Psoriasis on the lips is extremely rare—in fact, only about six cases have been scientifically documented. However, you may experience psoriasis around the mouth because about 20% of people with the condition have symptoms on their face. In addition, some psoriasis medications can lead to mouth ulcers or skin fissures on the lips. 

This article will discuss psoriasis on lips, including what else may be causing your flaky lips or chapped lips. 

Woman holding chapstick

Catherine McQueen / Getty Images

What Does Psoriasis on Lips Look Like?

It’s extremely rare to have psoriasis on your lips. There have only been six documented cases. Psoriasis on the lips is known as psoriatic cheilitis.

A study of the six confirmed cases found that people experience symptoms including:

  • White scaly lesions on the lips
  • Silver scales
  • Skin fissures on lips
  • Scaling and cracking appearance

Genital psoriasis

Some people experience psoriasis on the lips of the vulva. About two out of three people with psoriasis experience genital psoriasis. Though this can be embarrassing, it’s no reason to feel shame. Talking with your healthcare provider can help you get treatment. 

Other Places Psoriasis Appears on Face 

Although psoriasis on lips is rare, about 20% of people with psoriasis have the condition on other areas of their face. Psoriasis on the face appears most often on the:

  • Hairline and forehead
  • Eyebrows
  • Between the nose and lips

In addition, oral psoriasis is a rare condition that can affect the tongue. It can lead to patches of white or yellow areas in the mouth. It may also cause geographic tongue, a condition in which a white border surrounds red “belt spots” on the tongue. 

Do I Have Psoriasis on My Lips or Something Else?

Although psoriasis on lips is rare, there are many other conditions that can lead to flaky lips, skin fissure on lips, sores, and discomfort. These include:

Causes of Lip Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes the skin cells to grow too quickly in certain areas. This leads to the buildup of plaques and the red, inflamed appearance associated with psoriasis. 

Treatment for Psoriasis on or Around Lips

If you have psoriasis on or around your lips, you should connect with a dermatologist who can help develop a treatment plan. Treatment for psoriasis usually involves oral medication, topical ointments, and lifestyle changes. Specialized treatments like phototherapy may also help. 

In many cases, keeping your lips well moisturized may help make you more comfortable. Talk with your healthcare provider, but using hydrocortisone on lips is generally considered safe as long as the ointment has 1% or less concentration. In addition, identifying your triggers and avoiding spicy foods or beverages that irritate your lips will make you feel a bit better. 

Before treating psoriasis on your lips, getting a proper diagnosis is important. Psoriasis on the lips is extremely rare, so it’s more likely than not that you’re dealing with another condition. Getting to the bottom of what’s causing your lips pain can help you develop a treatment protocol that works.


Psoriasis on the lips is exceedingly rare. However, people with psoriasis often experience other lip ailments and irritations, including chapped lips, ulcers, and more. Talk with your healthcare provider if you think you have psoriasis on your lips. They can give you a proper diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. 

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bouslama G, Hasni W, Ben Massoud NS, et al. Isolated lip involvement in psoriasis: an uncommon aspect of a common dermatologic condition. Journal of Oral Medicine and Oral Surgery. 2018. doi: 10.1051/mbcb/2017034

  2. Winfrey S, Berman K. Psoriasis on lips: symptoms and treatments. My Psoriasis Team. February 25, 2021.

  3. Martí N, Pinazo I, Revert Á, Jordá E. Psoriasis of the lips. Journal of Dermatological Case Reports. 2009. 10.3315/jdcr.2009.1036.

  4. Ferris WJ, Mikula S, Brown R, Farquharson A. Oral psoriasis of the tongue: a case reportCureus. 2019;11(12):e6318. doi:10.7759/cureus.6318

By Kelly Burch
Kelly Burch is has written about health topics for more than a decade. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and more.